Sysco workers end strike in Des Plaines

The food service company has reached a tentative agreement with members of Teamster Local 703.

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Warehouse workers represented by Teamsters Local 703 are shown Tuesday on strike in Des Plaines. The walkout ended Thursday with a tentative deal.

Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Warehouse workers have ended a strike at food service provider Sysco in Des Plaines after the company and negotiators for Teamsters Local 703 struck a tentative deal Thursday, a union official said.

The workers will vote on a new contract later Thursday, said Jake Berent, spokesman for Local 703.

Peter Peluso, Great Lakes region president of Sysco, said Thursday night the contract was ratified, but there was no immediate word from the union. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and flexibility during the strike and look forward to continuing to serve the Chicago market,” he said.

The strike involving about 125 employees began Monday and disrupted some food deliveries to the Chicago Public Schools, major hospitals and other large organizations.

“Both sides came to the table today and hammered out an agreement that gives the workplace protections and the respect our members deserve,” Berent said, declining to discuss details.

The walkout occurred at the Sysco plant at 250 Wieboldt Drive. Drivers who belong to another Teamsters local honored the picket line, increasing the company’s difficulty with deliveries.

The prior contract expired in February 2020 and was temporarily extended because of the pandemic. The union voiced frustration over a lack of progress in talks that began last January. Sysco accused the union of striking over nonfinancial terms, such as “illegal language” it wanted in the contract. 

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