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Teamsters Back on Strike at UNFI Depot

AUBURN, Wash. — Teamsters Local 117 has renewed its strike at a United Natural Foods Inc. warehouse here, claiming that the wholesaler fired 72 workers at the facility during the on-again, off-again labor protest.

“The company’s action to replace its employees is retaliatory, unlawful and frankly despicable,” said Tracey A. Thompson, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, in a statement.

The local had first called a strike against the facility, which employs 163 warehouse workers and drivers, on Dec. 10, citing unfair contract bargaining. It canceled the strike two days later when it said UNFI had agreed to “good faith” negotiations.

Read more: Teamsters End Strike at UNFI Depot

In a statement on Friday, UNFI said it “remains committed” to return to the bargaining table on Dec. 20 with a federal mediator.

“Because of the union’s decision to continue its strike, UNFI has moved forward with contingency plans to keep its operations running, and to meet its commitments to customers,” the company said in the statement. “This includes using salaried personnel and staff from other facilities to fill in for striking workers at the Auburn facility and hiring permanent replacement employees.”

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