Company wants to gut UFCW contract, refuses to compromise
By ED FINKELSTEIN
There is a very real possibility that a strike at Schnucks Markets will begin next week unless the company makes significant improvements to their proposal during negotiations this week, UFCW Local 655 President David Cook warned the Executive Board of the St. Louis Labor Council meeting this past Monday.
It’s expected that Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save will lock out its employees if Schnucks is struck. There are 59 Schnucks, 23 Dierbergs and 29 Shop ‘n Save stores. A total of 4,500 Local 655 members will be impacted. Schnucks’ Illinois stores will not be impacted as they are covered by a different union contract.
“Despite efforts by our union negotiating team and the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service to bring some level of reason to the bargaining table, Schnucks has not made the improvements necessary to reach an agreeable settlement,” Cook said.
“After years of growth that’s moved it from the 191st largest private employer in the United States in 2009 to the 168th largest this year with $2.7 Billion in sales, the company will not make any reasonable move to reward the employees for their loyalty and hard work,” Cook told the Labor Tribune.
“We have negotiations this week. If Schnucks continues down this path of not recognizing its employees for their hard work and wants to destroy full-time union jobs, eliminate health care for part-time workers, eliminate full-time jobs, cut pay for new employees ($1 an hour lower than Walmart pays) and allow managers to do our work, we will be on strike immediately following a rejection of the next proposal,” Cook warned.
“We would like to avoid having to strike, but Schnucks has, as of today, taken an unacceptable attitude and our members are fed up. It’s clear from the 89 percent rejection of their proposal and strike authorization by our Schnucks’ members that they are serious. It appears Todd Schnuck doesn’t believe it and really wants to see if his employees have the guts to challenge him. He’s in for a big surprise if there is no move to compromise.”
The current day-by-day extension agreement requires Local 655 to give Schnucks five days of notice of a strike. “We will live up to that commitment,” Cook said. “The public will have ample notice if we are forced to strike.
Shopping alternatives if Schnucks is struck; Dierbergs, Shop ‘n Save lock out
If there is a strike at Schnucks, here are other union stores that will welcome your business:
- All Straubs stores
- All Kroger stores
- Midtown IGA, St Charles City
- Price Chopper, House Springs
- Save a Lot, Otto
- Fricks Market, Union and Sullivan
- Country Market, Ste. Genevieve
- Roziers AG, Perryville