Ed, Don Schnucks’ legacy is being destroyed
The growing criticism in both print and social media resulting from Schnuck Markets decision to fire 190 Teamsters Local 688 members and replace them with non-union workers at their new warehouse scheduled to open this summer is beginning to focus on the company’s CEO, Todd Schnuck and his decision to fire loyal, veteran employees which is ruining the company his father and uncle built based on being a giving family that has always cared for the community.
A few examples from Letters to the Editor under headlines like “Schnucks’ move runs contrary to its reputation,” and “Why is Schnucks eliminating decent jobs?”
• LUDICROUS: “As an exclusive shopper there… It’s ludicrous for me to believe Schnucks would cut jobs within its own community to inflate its bottom line. It runs contrary to all that I’ve grown to understand and love about Schnucks.” – Melody Murray
• A RAT? “I smell a rat at Schnucks. The company is going to… lay off 190 Teamsters workers and hire nonunion replacements at its new warehouse. Perhaps if that goes smoothly, Schnucks may go after the rest of its union Teamsters and then its union clerks and meat cutters. Does everyone smell the rat now? Just a friendly reminder to Schnucks: There are other union supermarkets in town, including Shop ’n Save and Dierbergs.” – Kevin P. Madden
• LINE TODD’S POCKETS? “I just have one question for the Schnuck family: Are they eliminating these decent jobs, which pay a fair and livable wage, to lower the price of food sold at their markets? Or, are they doing this to further line the pockets of CEO Todd Schnuck and his family? -Michael Szerzinski
• MAKES ME SICK: “#ShameOnSchnucks. Shopped here all my life, as did my mother. No more. Non-Union (warehouse)? That’s not very ‘friendly’ to those that have worked for you. So just cut them off, build a new warehouse, and hire in all new help at $10/hr?!?!? You do know that after taxes that’s going to be about $1200 a month? Your own employees will not be able to afford to shop where they work. Disgusting. (I’m) calling Dierbergs and telling them they have my $200/week coming their way! Thanks for letting your community down. Another sad story I can tell my kids when I tell them about “how good things used to be.’ Makes me sick!!’ – John Wallace, St. Charles
Reader Melody Murray, in addition to her critical comment, made an astute observation about Todd Schnuck’s turn from a community-minded business model to a stakeholder business model which runs totally contrary to the concept of the firm’s founders, his father Don Schnuck and his uncle, Ed Schnuck:
She contrasts two business models: a money-hoarding business model compared to a stakeholders’ business model of community-minded businesses.
• MONEY-HOARDING BUSINESS MODEL: “…a corporation’s goal has the primary objective on maximizing profits and boosting (the) stock price. This single goal of maximizing profit, at any peril to its worker in particular is a business model that has been proven to erode communities and widen the gap between the top tier and the rest of society. And, outsourcing unravels the very fabric of the workplace culture of team, family and financial security.”
• STAKEHOLDERS BUSINESS MODEL: “…fair-priced groceries, as well as creating a workplace culture that is safe, with a family feeling… has and maintains sustainable relationships with society, partners (suppliers and retailers), investors, customers and employees. These types of businesses recognize all of its stakeholders, not just its shareholders.”
Concluding her comments, Murray asks a startling question:
“So, I’m hard-pressed to believe Schnucks is using the outdated money-hoarding business model, rather than the sustainable stakeholder’s one. Surely, this third-party outsourcing decision was made from a last-ditch effort to stay financially afloat?”
‘Past 3 months, hardest days of my life’
“Now Don’s son Todd Schnuck wants to get rid of me.”
With that sad observation, 21-year Schnuck warehouse teamster Adam Siadek, standing beside his 17-year old daughter suffering from bone cancer, wonders how he’ll be able to continue his daughter’s extensive and expensive treatments if he loses his job while reflecting on how his good union job at Schnucks has helped him raise a family and the prospects of being fired shortly has him extremely concerned for the family’s future.
Here’s Siadek’s story in his own words:
“These past three months have been the hardest days of my life!
“As most of you know my 17-year old daughter Kinsey was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma which is a bone cancer in her femur. After four rounds of chemo the doctors have decided to go ahead with Kinsey’s surgery since her tumor is growing. Then they will do different chemo plan afterwards.
“This is a picture of us today after finally leaving Children’s Hospital after being there a week. We walk on this bridge everyday while we’re there.
“I’m blown away by how generous the old Schnucks regime was. They really did things for the community!
“Now, after 21 years of full-time service, Don’s son, Todd Schnuck, wants to get rid of me and 190 of my teamster brothers.
“This whole week while I was at Children’s Hospital I was trying to fathom how this situation would be if I didn’t have heath insurance from my UNION job. We would of had to travel far away to get free treatments for my daughter, that I do know.
“It would absolutely cripple us emotionally and financially for sure.
“I’ve also raised four daughters with this UNION job and I’ve been blessed with being able to provide for them; but please know that if we lose our jobs we all lose our livelihoods.
“We’re all in the fight of our lives to save something so please tell Todd Schnuck that this isn’t right and support your local Teamsters 688 brothers.
“Thank you to my family and friends for your prayers! I also want to thank all my teamster brothers for your support in what my family is going through right now! Stay strong and united! #ShameOnSchnucks.”
ANGER AT THE LEADER
“We are all praying for Kinsey,” said Local 688 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Goebel. “Adam’s story is repeated over and over by many others in terms of how losing their jobs will be a disaster for their families, for their children, for their futures.
“It’s no wonder everyone is angry at Todd. He’s the leader, the one with the responsibility to help the company grow. Turning against his own employees is certainly not the way to do it. It’s the warehouse today, but you can be sure he’s got sights set on every employee unit in that company.
“He’s a numbers guy with little feel for the human side of his business — the people that make this company tick. Let him come down and work the warehouse for a week and see if he feels cutting our members’ throats is a good idea!”
Social media continues to explode in support of Teamsters 688 @ Schnucks
Facebook soars to 280,000; ‘likes’ and comments to 108,000
Public support for the 190 Teamsters warehouse workers at Schnucks is soaring since the union went live on social media April 8:
• Facebook pages views have soared to 280,000, a 2,759 percent increase (last week they were 150,000);
• Facebook “likes” and comments have also soared to 108,000, a 6,688 percent boost (an ironic number: Teamsters Local 688).
• Twitter followers have grown by 27 percent.
NO FORM, NO WORRY
If you don’t have a copy of the “I Support Schnucks Teamsters” card when you’re shopping, no problem, you can still help:
Take your sales receipt, write a note on it that you support the Teamsters and will stop shopping at Schnucks if they are fired, and turn it in at the Customer Service counter.
The company is collecting the cards/receipts twice a day. They are watching.
SIGN ON, SIGN UP
“The St. Louis community is using social media to band together to support these workers and quality jobs in our region. We encourage supporters to like the page, follow us on Twitter and invite your friends and family,” added Mike Goebel, Local 688’s secretary-treasurer.
If you want to keep up on the efforts, or want to send a message in support of Local 688’s members or sent a personal comment to Schnucks (you can be sure they are watching Local 688’s Facebook page), here’s how:
• FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Teamsters688
• TWITTER: @Teamsters688