Police arrest at least 16 from 'hostile' picket line in Plympton

PLYMPTON – At least 16 people were arrested after hundreds of teamsters assembled for a picket line that became hostile outside wholesale food distribution company Sysco Boston, police said. 

 More than 300 members of  Teamsters Local 653 gathered outside the business at 99 Spring St. early Monday morning. Police said the teamsters blocked both entrances with their tractor-trailers. Transparent Led Display

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"For over two hours, we attempted to negotiate with the teamsters' picket line leaders while 100 employees inside the Sysco facility were unable to leave," Police Chief Matthew Ahl wrote in a statement.

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Police said "approximately 16 to 20" people were arrested. Photographers from WCVB, The Patriot Ledger's media partner, saw a massive law enforcement presence and people being loaded into the back of a police van.

Charges included disorderly conduct and assault and battery.

"Unfortunately, we had to respond by removing members of the crowd who were inciting a hostile picket line," officials wrote.

Teamsters with Local 653 walked off the job Oct. 1, just after their contract ended.

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Teamsters say union members were offered a "take-it-or-leave-it" deal with the company in their dispute over insurance, pension and wages.

"Throughout the negotiations process, Sysco Boston has remained committed to achieving a competitive labor agreement for our employees and our company. While we are disappointed in the Teamsters leadership's ongoing decision to have our employees out on strike without letting them vote, we respect their right to do so under the law," a Sysco spokesperson wrote in a statement Monday.

"What we can't respect is violence, disorderly conduct, intimidation or threats, on or off the strike line, targeting our employees, vendors, customers or the public."

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