Teamsters Local 117 put out a statement and posted a product and brands list to be avoided by consumers. The statement was posted on a website that has focused on exposing supposed UNFI unfair labor practices. The brands, as well as products on the list are supplied by UNFI to Whole Foods.
Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets encouraged United Natural Foods to come to an agreement, revealing that it was exploring other options for sourcing some of the products as it supported a pact with Teamsters. PCC, a 9-store cooperative, gave a statement saying that they had values to respect their workers and those workers of their partners and they therefore support the right of collective bargaining, fair benefits, equitable pay, as well as safe working conditions. The United Natural Foods Inc. supplies a majority of PCC’s dairy and grocery products and some of the chains wellness and body care items. UNFI also supplies Supervalu, Safeway and other retailers.
Early December saw Teamsters stage a brief strike at a UNFI warehouse. It was then called off but re-instated the next day following claims that 72 workers who had participated in the strike had been terminated. UNFI is accused of labor laws violations and bargaining practices that are unfair.
Teamsters had called for strikes earlier in December, for what it had called mistreatment of workers and disregard of labor laws, of which the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been investigating.