Schnuck Markets is conducting yet another deceitful effort to manipulate public opinion against Teamsters Local 688, which is fighting to save the jobs of 190 members who will be fired when the firm opens a new warehouse this summer.
The company is charging that Local 688 refuses to conduct “effects bargaining” over the issue of the firings, which is deceiving. The hooker lies in the meaning of “effects bargaining” and how Schnucks is using it to try and trick both the public and the 190 impacted Teamsters.
Basically, the law requires that a company must negotiate over the effects of a decision that will negatively impact union members.
A Schnucks spokesperson in a Post-Dispatch story online recently alleged: “We have repeatedly requested the scheduling of Effects Bargaining with Local 688 leadership. We feel Local 688 leadership is doing its members a disservice by not responding to this request.”
‘ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE’
“This is absolutely not true,” says Local 688’s chief executive officer Mike Goebel. “We have never refused to negotiate over the effects of Schnucks’ heinous decision to destroy 190 lives. However, effects bargaining is premature at this time. Schnucks is using ‘effects bargaining’ as a ploy to undermine the Union’s effort to enforce its contractual rights.”
Basically, the Union’s contract gives Teamsters warehouse employees the right to reemployment in the event Schnucks subcontracts the Union’s work or moves the existing facility. Despite this clear language, Schnucks refuses to acknowledge Local 688 members’ reemployment rights at the new facility.
Schnucks’ version of “effects bargaining” is an attempt to convince Union members to take a “buyout” instead of exercising their contractual reemployment rights. “Schnucks’ offer is nothing more than an attempt to limit its liability for violating the collective bargaining agreement,” explained Goebel.
Further evidence of Schnucks’ illegal motive is the fact that it made this offer directly to Local 688 members — bargaining directly with the employees instead of with the legal bargaining representative, Teamsters 688. The Union has filed two charges against Schnucks at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning these issues.
“This is simply a public relations ploy to deceive the public and our members,” Goebel added, “and to undermine our basic grievance.”
UNION FIGHTING FOR ITS MEMBERS
The Union is pressing forward on its grievance against Schnucks. “Schnucks’ offer undermines the Union’s grievance, which is certainly something the company would like to see happen, but the Union will fight,” said Teamster attorney Mike Evans of the Hartnett, Gladney & Hetterman law firm.
“The members’ futures are at stake. The Union is taking every step necessary to ensure that their rights are protected.”