The effort to encourage Dierbergs Markets to open their Lake of the Ozarks store union, instead of opening it non-union this Spring as planned by the company, received the unanimous support of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council at its December delegate meeting.
The Council acted after its executive board the previous week endorsed the request by United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655 to support the union’s efforts to encourage Dierbergs to open their upcoming new store in Osage Beach at the Lake as a union store.
Despite the fact that Local 655 has worked cooperatively in a unique partnership with Dierbergs management over the years to protect the company’s market share, Dierbergs still plans on opening its first Lake store non-union. Numerous meetings with the company’s management team have made that abundantly clear said Local 655 President David Cook
Local 655 is asking anyone who shops at Dierbergs to take a minute while in the store to talk to the Store Director or express their concerns about their opening non-union via email, phone calls or writing a note.
Where other union chains across the country have begun non-union operations, called “double-breasting,” the companies put their resources into building more non-union stores allowing the union stores to languish. That results in the loss of good union jobs.
THOUSANDS OF JOBS AT STAKE
Local 655 currently represents several thousand members working at Dierbergs. Teamsters Local 688 represents several hundred workers in the company’s warehouse.
Local 688, which has jurisdiction in the Lake area for its work, is fully behind Local 655’s efforts and also encourages all Dierbergs shoppers to help send a message to company management to encourage them to open union at the Lake, said Local 688 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Mike Goebel.
Cook told the Labor Tribune the union is NOT asking for a boycott of Dierbergs, rather that union shoppers let the company know that Dierbergs customers are not happy and IF a boycott were called, would support the effort by shopping elsewhere in the St. Louis area.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Here’s five ways you can help send a message to Dierbergs Markets that opening non-union at the Lake of the Ozarks does not sit well with their customers:
• In person: when shopping at Dierbergs, ask for the Store Director or person in charge and express your displeasure that Dierbergs is opening non-union at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have a place at the Lake, let them know you will not be shopping there if it is not union.
• Email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Dierberg’s assistant who handles his emails).
• Mail: letters or notes to Bob Dierberg, Dierbergs Markets, Inc., 16690 Swingley Ridge Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017.
• Telephone: Customer Service: 636-532-8884 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
• Website: www.Dierbergs.com. At the bottom of the page in the green bar, under “Contact Us” will take you to a comment box.
“Partnership has to be a two-say street,” Cook added. “We’ve worked with Dierbergs over the years to fight their non-union competition. It now appears that’s ok as long as it works to their advantage but no ok when it works to their employees’ advantage. That’s not right. We hope the Labor Movement will make that point, pointedly, to Dierbergs management.”