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Union Rejects Contract Offer From Big Starbucks Distributor

FreightWaves

Union drivers and warehouse workers employed by a key Midwest distributor for Starbucks Coffee Co. (NASDAQ: SBUX) have rejected a contract proposal in part because of its short duration, the Teamsters union, which represents the nearly 300 workers, said Aug. 23.

The company, DPI Specialty Foods, offered the workers a seven-month contract, a sharp contrast to the five-year contracts that the workers have received in the past, the Teamsters said. The offer of such short duration is due to DPI's belief that Starbucks is planning to shift to another delivery company and that DPI doesn't want to be tied to a multi-year labor deal if that happens, Mike Cales, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 710, which represents the workers, said in a statement Aug. 23. 

The contract was rejected by an overwhelming margin, the Teamsters said, without providing details. DPI and Starbucks were not immediately available for comment.

DPI delivers to more than 900 Starbucks stores in the greater Chicago area, as well as to stores in Minneapolis, St. Louis and Indianapolis, the Teamsters said 

The local said it would make its presence known during the first week of September, when Chicago hosts the 2019 Starbucks Leadership Conference, which is expected to be attended by an estimated 13,000 store managers and other company leaders.

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