Food distributor hiring replacements in Auburn

AUBURN — A company that distributes organic food to grocery stores said it’s hiring replacement workers for striking union members at its Auburn distribution center.

The United Natural Foods company denies accusations that it has engaged in unfair labor practices and says it’s disappointed Teamsters Local 117 decided to strike. The company’s most recent offer included a pay raise of nearly 11 percent over three years.

Drivers and warehouse workers put up a picket line Tuesday at the distribution center.

Union spokeswoman Brenda Weist said the strikers hope to bring the company back to the bargaining table to negotiate pay and benefits.

United Natural Foods is based in Rhode Island.

It’s website says it distributes more than 65,000 products to more than 27,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

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