Hundreds of workers at Red Wing Shoe facility file petition for union election

Workers at a Red Wing Shoe facility in Potosi, Mo., filed a petition today with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election.

(POTOSI, MO) — Workers at a Red Wing Shoe facility in Potosi, Mo., filed a petition today with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election.

The employees at Red Wing are filing a petition to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655, a union representing workers in St. Louis and across the eastern half of the state. UFCW currently represents workers at two Red Wing facilities in Minnesota. The Potosi facility has about 250 employees working in shoe manufacturing.

Workers at Red Wing cited numerous areas of concern as their driving motivation to seek union representation. They are currently working longer hours than ever due to mandatory overtime, with many employees working 55-60 hours per week.

“We deserve time to spend with our families just like anyone else, but we’re working longer and longer hours with less time with our loved ones, it’s simply not fair,” said Jenny Allen, a Red Wing employee. “We need to make a change.”

Employees also cited substandard healthcare benefits offered by Red Wing, with insurance benefits that often do not cover necessary prescription drugs and for many employees, too expensive to even use.

Those same employees were also galvanized when they learned that their union counterparts in Minnesota make a higher average wage and enjoy more affordable benefits and less grueling work schedules.

UFCW Local 655 President David Cook said that the petition is one piece of a clear worker movement across the country.

“We are seeing more and more workers fight to unionize in Missouri and across the country,” Cook said. “We’re hearing from more workers than ever before that a union is what they need to get the pay, benefits, and treatment on the job that they deserve.

UFCW Local 655 represents employees in numerous industries, and currently represents several hundred shoe manufacturing workers at the Belleville Boot Company in Belleville Illinois. It is the largest private sector local union in Missouri, representing some 8,500 partners throughout the eastern half of the state. Their partners are employed in food stores (its largest single division), shoe manufacturing, packinghouses, distribution centers and a number of miscellaneous plants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top