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UNFI Comments on Teamsters Local 117 Union Situation

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) said today that while it remains committed to return to the bargaining table Thursday, Dec. 20, with a federal mediator and Teamsters Local 117, which represents employees at the company's Auburn facility, the company was disappointed to learn that the Union has decided to stay out on strike.

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. This includes utilizing salaried personnel and staff from other facilities to fill in for striking workers at the Auburn facility and hiring permanent replacement employees. 

"The Union was well aware that a strike at the busiest time of the year would leave UNFI no choice but to hire replacement associates so we could continue to serve our customers," said Sean Griffin, UNFI Group President. "Yet the Union chose to put its own interests over the interests of its membership and ordered a strike.  The Union has continued to mischaracterize UNFI by falsely blaming the company for the consequences of their decision."    

Additional Background

The Union never brought UNFI's latest proposal to its members for a vote. The company's most recent offer included a 10.8 percent wage increase over three years, as well as the acceptance of several union proposals. UNFI has made numerous concessions during the months of negotiation and believes that the latest offer it presented to the union is fair, reasonable and competitive.

UNFI has historically had a good working relationship with Teamsters Local 117 for the last 22 years, and its approach at all times in the negotiations has been to work collaboratively to ensure it reaches an agreement that is in the best interest of its associates, its customers and its business.

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc. ( carries and distributes more than 65,000 products to more than 27,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 and 2012 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award and chosen by Food Logistics Magazine as one of its 2012 Top 20 Green Providers.

For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company's website at

SOURCE United Natural Foods, Inc.

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