Channeling Hoffa: ‘What Schnucks is doing is wrong’
“If he were here today, he’d be in St. Louis standing with you saying ‘What Schnucks is doing is just wrong and we’re urging shoppers to send that message to Schnucks.’”
Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters legendary leader who brought millions of workers out of poverty and into the Teamsters Union, is being channeled in the current Schnucks dispute by his granddaughter, Barbara Dengel, who with her 12-year old son, Jimmy’s great grandson JR, joined Teamsters Local 688 members handbilling at a Schnucks store in Kirkwood recently.
“This is just another example of greed that’s not necessary,” Dengel said. “I’m sad – and my grandfather would be furious – that this is happening in my town, in a store where we shop all the time. It’s just wrong!”
“Local 688 members are taking her message to heart and are keeping up a steady handbilling program. She was on the handbilling line with her son all afternoon talking with shoppers, first in front of the store and then at the entrance after Kirkwood police intervened,” said Local 688 chief executive officer Mike Goebel.
“She’s a third generation of the Hoffa family and like Jimmy, she’s ready to stand and fight for what’s right. We gratefully appreciate that.”
Added Mike Schlueter, Local 688’s business representative for the warehouse, “Having a Hoffa on the line with us was uplifting and motivating for our members.”
The union is handbilling throughout the week and weekend at various stores and to date has covered every Schnucks store in St. Louis, St. Charles and St. Peters.
In looking for special handbilling opportunities, the union last Thursday turned out more than 60 members in the driving rain at the Schnucks store at 170 and Page where Channel 4 was conducting a weather radio buy program, part of their ongoing effort to encourage the public to get weather radios tuned to severe weather alerts.
“The response was overwhelming,” Schlueter told the Labor Tribune, with many people turning way.
“This is the most disgusting this I’ve ever seen. Shame on Schnucks,” said an older shopper.
“We as citizens can’t tolerate this from companies any longer. I’ll do my shopping elsewhere,” said another.