Labor partnerships continue as coronavirus shutdowns ravage foodservice businesses

Teamsters union locals in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions said they’ve reached “a significant agreement” in which member employees of foodservice distributor US Foods could work at facilities of grocery retailer Safeway, a division of Albertsons Cos.

Under the arrangement, announced Friday by Teamsters locals 455, 690 and 174 and Joint Council 28, bargaining unit members employed by US Foods can begin performing work at Safeway distribution centers to help address the “imbalance” between broadline foodservice and grocery industries caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Safeway has agreed to honor the workers’ union contract at US Foods in its entirety,” Larry Kroetch, business agent for Teamsters Local 690 and chairman of the Joint Council 28 warehouse division, said in a statement. “This agreement will ensure warehouses are staffed and stocked, and it will ensure communities have access to food by keeping professional drivers on the road.”