Without equipment certificates, workers can’t get other jobs
In what can only be called a callous, inhumane act of retaliation, Schnuck Markets is refusing to provide fired Teamster Local 688 warehouse workers copies of their equipment certifications that would allow them to get another job that required the use of a forklift of pallet jack.
In a meeting with the first workers thrown to the curbs by Schnucks, warehousemen said their requests for copies of their federally required certifications to drive forklifts and pallet jacks were being refused by Schnucks.
“This is an outrageous, callous act of retaliation for our boycott,” said Mike Goebel, Local 688’s chief executive officer. “Our members need their certification in order to get another job to work at other warehouses or companies. That Schnucks is deliberately refusing to provide them the chance to support their families is beyond the pale, and the public needs to know that.”
And then, to the surprise of all, Schnucks moved product BACK to the union warehouse after it had already been sent to its scab warehouse for distribution to its stores.
Schnuck began throwing its loyal warehouse workers to the curb July 31. Other firings are planned for Aug. 21 and Sept. 11. A total of 201 Teamsters will be losing their jobs with another 30 lower level managements workers also getting the axe. The union jobs are going to scabs at Schnucks new warehouse now open in North County working for about a third of what current workers are earning.
MISLEADING THE PUBLIC
“We’ve tried to meet with Schnucks to work something out but they refused to meet,” Goebel said.
He pointed out that the company is not telling the public the whole truth in signs up in some stores that say the union has refused to negotiate with the company. Their signs are an effort to not only deflect public accountability for their irresponsible actions in discarding their own loyal employees, most of whom at anywhere from 10 to 30 years with Schnucks, but an effort to circumvent their own signed contract with Local 688.
“What we have refused to do is negotiate the firings, which is what Schnucks wants us to do in direct conflict with our contract,” Goebel stressed. “You bet we won’t meet with them to what would amount to signing the death certificates of our members.”
Goebel noted that by contract, the company is required to move Local 688 members to any new warehouse facility. The union has charges pending before the National Labor Relations Board over the company’s refusal to live up to its agreed to obligations.
The new warehouse is being manned by a non-union, out-of-state firm who pays employees $10 to $12 an hour.
Schnucks brings products BACK to union warehouse as impact of scabs being felt
In what is an embarrassing repudiation of their firing Teamster warehouse workers and moving products to the new scab warehouse for distribution, Schnucks sent fresh vegetables and dairy products BACK to the union warehouse for distribution to its stores.
Just as Schnucks began its firings of Teamsters stores throughout the region began experiencing shortages of dairy products and fresh produce that were being processed by scabs out of their new warehouse in North County.
At first, Schnucks tried to deflect the impact of firing experienced workers for scabs by blaming the shortages on a power outage and computer problems.
“The dairy and produce had already been taken away from the union guys. All this mess is from the new warehouse with the scab workers,” notes Tammy Dunn on Facebook.
Giving lie to the company’s excuses, Teamsters 688 warehouse Business Representative Mike Schlueter noted that, “”When power goes out in storage or their warehouse, they pull this generator to a certain store, hook it up and within an hour, hour and half, they got their electric right back.”
And as proof positive of their screw-up, the company moved the veggies and dairy products back to the union warehouse so that Local 688 members could get products into the stores!