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Dunkin' Donuts Drivers in New England to Resume Talks After Strike Threat

A supplier for 2,500 Dunkin’ Brands Inc. restaurants in New England and the union representing its delivery drivers will resume talks today after the workers threatened to strike.

Teamsters Local 25, representing 200 employees, and Northeast DCP, Dunkin’s largest distributor, will continue discussions starting at 2:30 p.m. New York time, said Leigh Strope, a spokeswoman for the Teamsters. The union said this week it would strike and gave a deadline of tomorrow for talks to continue. DCP, owned by Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, has bargained in good faith, said Patty Healy, a spokeswoman.

The workers, who make deliveries to Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants, joined the Teamsters last August and have one year to sign a contract with DCP or there may be a decertification vote. The sides met for a 22nd time on June 28. The Teamsters are prepared to strike and boycott Dunkin’ locations if negotiations don’t meet expectations, Strope said.

“We’re hopeful the company is serious this time, but we’re not taking any chances,” Strope said. “These workers need a fair contract and it’s time to get it done.”

Closely held Dunkin’ Brands has no role in the negotiations and hopes an agreement can be reached soon, according to an e- mailed statement.

“We expect business as usual at Dunkin’ Donuts,” Michelle King, a spokeswoman for Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands, said in the e-mail. “DCP has taken steps to ensure that they can service our restaurants.”

A strike would affect all of Dunkin’s restaurants in New England, Strope said today in an e-mail. The action may include picketing and whatever action is necessary to stop deliveries, she said. DCP, based in Bellingham, Massachusetts, has replacement drivers ready and is taking steps to ensure that deliveries will continue.

“Our expectation is it will delay us by a couple of hours on our routes, but it will not shut down business,” Healy said.

Dunkin’ Donuts is a unit of Dunkin’ Brands Inc., which is owned by Bain Capital LLC, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP. The company has more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts and 6,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

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