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UNFI Responds to Teamsters Local 117 Strike Proceedings

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) said today that it is surprised and disappointed that Teamsters Local 117 has decided to strike at its Auburn, Wash., distribution center. UNFI offered to return to the bargaining table as recently as yesterday, yet the Union elected to go out on strike.

The Union's claims that UNFI has engaged in unfair labor practices are entirely baseless and without merit. To date, the National Labor Relations Board has not found any instances of UNFI committing unfair labor practices, although the NLRB did find that the Union threatened UNFI's employees with loss of employment if they crossed the Union's picket line. The Union continues to misrepresent the situation and undertake a smear campaign in an effort to damage UNFI's reputation.

Given the Union's decision to go out on strike during this busy holiday season, UNFI has no choice but to move forward with contingency plans, which include hiring replacement workers to support customers in the region. 

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. (http://www.unfi.com) 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 www.unfi.com.

SOURCE United Natural Foods, Inc.

Lisa Madsen, +1-401-528-8634 ext 32417, lmadsen@unfi.com