‘Flex’ Work Begins



Those of you familiar with our Schnucks contract ratified earlier this year may already be aware of the historic new language it features.

In our most recent contract we worked with our largest employer to create something that benefits both management and Labor alike: Flex Workers.

This language allows for Schnucks to have more options when it comes to filling holes in their schedules while also giving you our partners, the opportunity to craft your own schedules. Even more exciting is the opportunity this presents with new hires.

We all know how the so-called “gig economy” has risen these past few years. Perhaps you or someone you know has picked up work on the side as an Uber driver, an Instacart Shopper, or a DoorDash worker. The reason this work appeals to so many is the flexibility it provides. These workers decide if and when they will choose to work, and it allows them to work around their own schedules to find a way to make extra money.

Well, our Flex Worker program provides that same kind of flexibility with something none of those other companies offer: a chance to receive union benefits.

Under this language, our partners at Schnucks can — at this very moment — go online and fill out their availability and pick up extra shifts at any store they choose. This lets our partners maximize their hours and consequently maximize their pay.

At the same time, it allows Schnucks to do something brand new and hire employees who solely work under the Flex language.

These workers might seem like “gig workers” at a glance, but they are much different. Sure, like Ubers drivers and the others they can have a hand in writing their own schedule, but unlike those other gig workers they will have something else: a union contract. They will pay union dues and receive the same considerations all union workers have, as well as the opportunity to access our industry-leading health benefits and pension.

If you are a Schnucks partner seeking a few extra shifts — maybe just during the holiday season so you can make a little extra cash — you can now make yourself available at multiple stores at any time that works for your schedule.

This unprecedented contract language is the product of lengthy negotiations and countless hours of discussion and rewrites. Ultimately, it aims to serve a goal that benefits everyone: Schnucks has more flexibility to hire and schedule workers, and workers (new and long-term alike) can maximize their ours and craft schedules that better fit their individual circumstances.


Over the last week we’ve sent out multiple messages about this exciting new program, and we will continue to communicate it to our partners. While, I have been working at this new benefit for some time, I am certain there may be some kinks to work out. Perhaps there will be some technical issues that have to be resolved. We all know how wonderful technology can be, until it isn’t.

However, I am excited to see how this program develops, and even more excited that this union has helped our hard-working partners maximize their hours (and pay checks)  and streamline their schedules while also providing so-called gig workers — for the first time ever — the chance to have access to great union benefits.

I ask for only a few small things from our Schnucks partners.

First, a little patience. We are working closely with Schnucks to roll this program out but, as I said, there will be some hiccups along the way, and both parties are committed to solving those issues as they arise.

Second, I ask for an open mind: log onto your Workday app and check out the page about Flex work. Watch the videos, consider picking a shift or two just to try it out if you’re looking for the extra hours.

Finally, I ask for feedback. Everyone involved wants this to work. We want our existing workers and new hires to have the ability to craft schedules that give them the hours they need while also giving them time off with their friends and family. We want our partners to succeed and we want Schnucks to be able to grow and operate their stores in such a way that eases the burden on our existing partners.

If you are a Schnucks worker, ask your store manager about the new Flex program. Checkout the page on Workday, and tell your coworkers to do the same.

Our new program is one-of-a-kind and the first of its kind in the nation. It may very well represent the future of our industry, and I am excited to see how it develops. This language is the very first step into a future where so-called gig workers can enjoy the same good union benefits as any other worker. It is the first step we are taking, but not the last.


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