Vistar workers end 2-month strike to prevent potential adverse NLRB ruling

ONTARIO, Calif. (PAI)—Some 85 truck drivers and warehouse workers at Vistar, an Ontario, Calif., division of Performance Food Group, reluctantly ended their two-month unfair labor practices strike on October 12. They had to walk out when Vistar refused to budge from paying female warehouse workers 26 percent less than male workers with the same jobs.

The workers, members of Teamsters Local 630, feared that if they continued, they’d hit an adverse National Labor Relations Board ruling, union Secretary-Treasurer Lou Villalvazo said. On the other hand, management has returned to the bargaining table, he reported.

Vistar forced the workers to strike on August 16 when it refused to agree to pay equity for the women workers. It was the second time the Local 630 members conducted an unfair labor law practices strike on the issue. The first time was for three days in June. He also reported the union had 85 percent participation in the strike.

“Vistar Performance Food Group (PFG) is a highly profitable company that dominates the industry in this region,” Villalvazo said. “They can easily afford raises for these workers, especially the women whose labor is openly devalued by the company. The company is acting like it’s the 1950s.”

Vistar provides popcorn, candy and other concession items to movie chains operating as AMC, Regal, United Artists and Edwards. It also provides food items to California state prisons, hospitals and other facilities.

Local 630 spearheaded the strike in a variety of ways. It developed a Vistar action kit with a flyer, a sign for a “selfie” for individuals’ posting on social media accounts, and a “coupon” for theatre-goers to hand over at theatre concession stands.

An accountability petition is still available at www.JusticeAtVistar.org., to push the company to settle. What galls the striking Teamsters is that another PFG company, Roma Foods, was organized under the Local 630 umbrella and the local was able to negotiate a labor agreement, Villalvazo said.

Source: PAI