BLAINE, Minn., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cash-Wa Distributing Company is harming its 75 essential drivers and warehouse workers in Fargo, N.D. by failing to negotiate a contract in good faith for these frontline workers who are delivering food to communities during this pandemic.
"It is outrageous that Cash-Wa is not recognizing the hard work these employees are doing day in and day out to keep our communities fed during the worst pandemic in a century," said Tom Erickson, President of Teamsters Local 120, which represents the workers.
"Cash-Wa likes to say it helps businesses thrive, but what about these workers who are putting their own health on the line to make sure restaurants, health care facilities, schools and other customers have the products they need?" said Brian Nowak, Local 120 Business Agent for the bargaining unit.
After meeting over the last six weeks, the privately held, family run company has stopped meeting to negotiate after submitting a last, best and final contract offer. Workers have voted to authorize a strike, if necessary and have filed several unfair labor practice charges against the company. Cash-Wa's headquarters is in Kearney, Neb., with another location in Aberdeen, S.D.
"We call on the company and its CEO, Tom Henning, to sit down with us to further negotiate wages, benefits and working conditions," Erickson said. "We remain far apart on these issues."
The drivers in Aberdeen are in the process of forming their union as Teamsters, and an election date is pending. Workers in Kearney and Aberdeen are supporting the drivers in Fargo in their contract campaign.
"We take pride in doing a great job, especially serving our customers during these challenging times," said Steve Johnson, a driver. "All we want is a fair contract to reflect the risks we are taking every day to make sure our customers get the products they need during this pandemic."
In 2019, Cash-Wa purchased the Fargo operation, which had been owned by Food Services of America (FSA), which was under contract with Local 120. US Foods acquired Food Services of America that same year, but in order for the deal to go through, US Foods was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to divest three FSA distribution facilities, including the one in Fargo.