A strike by truckers at food distributor Sysco Foods Boston's facility in Plympton, Massachusetts, could have an impact on Seacoast restaurants and schools.

Over 300 members of Teamsters Local 653 set up picket lines Sunday as their contract expired at the company's facility south of Boston, which stocks nearly 13,000 in-stock items for restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, and hotels throughout New England.

The Teamsters said the decision to walk came after management offered a ""last, best, final" offer which would "strip their essential workers of high-quality union health insurance and deny Local 653 members their union pension."

Some Impact on the Seacoast region

NBC Boston spoke with several Cumberland Farms stores, which said they could begin to run out of some products if the strike lasts.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital spokesman Adam Bagni told Seacoast Current that the hospital receives most of its food deliveries from Sysco Northern New England, based in Westbrook, Maine. Two deliveries are made from Sysco Boston.

"Cisco has indicated to us that they always prioritize health care clients and other vulnerable health care organizations during challenging times. They expect occasional delays and reduced efficiency through today, but a return to near 100% capacity by tomorrow," Bagni said. "We don’t expect this work stoppage will have any significant impact on our food services."

UNH spokeswoman Ericka Mantz said that UNH uses a different food distributor, and will not be affected by the strike.

Mike Somers, President and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, said he has not heard from any members yet.

"I think we're still early in this thing. Depending on how long it goes will determine how much of a problem it is. We're certainly watching it closely," Somers said.

Sysco Boston Still Operating

In a statement, Sysco Boston spokeswoman Shannon Mutschle told Seacoast Current that the company is still operating and serving customers despite the strike.

"They’ve been bringing in support from third parties to increase operations, and are serving customers through a 24/7 will-call operation. The team in Boston is working hard to service our customers, despite the Teamsters efforts to keep food from getting to them, many of whom are healthcare and schools," Mutschle said.

The union made no wage demands during bargaining, and Sysco said it offers more healthcare options at lower costs compared to associates’ current plan. Mutschle also denied the allegation that the company took away a pension.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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