Hours after word was out that Schnucks was going to fire 190 Teamsters and turn their work over to a non-union, out-of-state logistics firm whose employees earn less than half of what a Local 688 member earns, their customers lit up social media: angry, pissed and making it clear that their shopping needs could, and in some cases will immediately, be met elsewhere.
And while Teamsters Local 688 is not calling for a boycott at this time, it made little difference to many of Schnucks customers who have already stopped shopping and the many other messages sounded a cautionary note that IF the company fires the 190, they too would take their business elsewhere.
“The real problem for Schnucks is more than the immediate loss of business: once the customers leave, they may not be coming back, so it’s to their advantage to get this issue positively resolved, quickly,” said Local 688 Secretary-Treasurer Mike Goebel. “We’re ready to meet with the company at any time, any place, to resolve this issue.”
STRONG CRITICAL PUBLIC REACTION
A few examples of the public’s reactions on Facebook:
- “We shopped at Shop N Save today instead of Schnucks.” - Leah Maierhoffer
- “I've made it without Walmart in my life in any way shape or form, I will make it without the greediest store in town also... This is nothing but corporate greed and it makes me sick to my stomach that I was involved in the construction of their new building or should I say, warehouse of greed...disgusting.” – Mike Dunnegan
- “I called Schnucks and have been on Twitter... #GreediestStoreInTown. They don't seem to be too concerned... I am boycotting.”- Cynthia Eastman Adams
- “How you sleeping Todd Schnuck???? No conscience ???? This will destroy so many; shame on you sir Todd Schnuck.”-Tod Eaton
- “I'm a (Machinists) District 837 retiree. I’m with you brothers. Boycott the greedy son of a gun's… Yes it will effect them down the road.” – Merrill Blaser
- “Don't shop there any longer; they will get the message.” – Debra Nolting Winn
“We cancelled our "kinda big" cake order from the bakery. We have since ordered a new one from Dierbergs. We will be happy to drive past Wal-Mart & Schnucks to get to Dierbergs. Solidarity and strength in numbers is what is needed here!” – Chad Lange Sr.
- “I worked at Hill Behan in Teamsters Local 50; we see where they are today when the greedy kids take over.” – Eric Stephen Rickmann
- “We're standing with the Brothers and Sisters of Local 688. Until Schnucks stops this Walton-like behavior, they won't be getting any of OUR money. Praying for the Schnuck family to reconsider and really think about what they're doing and how many people who stayed loyal to them will be affected by this stupid, stupid move.” – Debra Patterson
- There are at least 3 other grocery stores in the state of Illinois... besides Schnucks. UNION PRIDE!! -Daniel Mendoza
- “I will go to Walmart before those clowns. I live in Cape Girardeau and I always go to Schnucks because they have been loyal union supporters! Not anymore! I will spread the word to others to go elsewhere!” -Robbie L. Slusher
- “Drove past two Schnucks stores to shop at Shop ’n Save over the weekend 8.2 miles to avoid our normal Schnucks.” -Joe Ryan
- “Schnucks did this to their GMI warehouse 10 years ago and the prices of the products did NOT go down ... I don’t expect the prices in the Grocery part of the store to go down either.” -Nathan Reeves
- “If Schnucks wants to keep my grocery money they will need to sign a contract with the teamsters.” - George A Lodes Sr.
- “We have been handbilling the stores for the last 2 weekends. Call Todd Schnucks at 314-994-4769 and tell him.” - Todd Varady
- “I've been a Schnucks customer for many years, but if this happens I will be shopping elsewhere!” - Sandra Keevil, Columbia, IL
MANY ARE ALREADY BOYCOTTING
Although a formal boycott has not been called, not even suggested, it’s not stopping Schnuck customers anyway:
- “We won't be shopping at Schnucks till this is resolved.” -Melissa Seay Polumbus
- “Will not be supporting Schnucks any longer. I have unsubscribed from all the emails they sent me. I sure hope they rethink this decision!” -Michelle Recsnik
- “Well I will not shop at Schnucks again. And to lie and get our hard earned money to help build the new facility is wrong, promising that they will "keep 400 jobs" is so wrong. Shame on Schnucks. Shop and save will love the new business.” - Julie Shoemaker-Carlson
- “Already switched my prescriptions to Walgreens.” – Jamey Torregrossa
- “Another case of greed! These companies seem to forget about the hard working people that help build them to what they are today just to be kicked in the head. No more Schnucks for us. So long.” – Mark Carroll
- “Shopped here all my life. Never again. Union workers made this store what it is today and made the Schnucks family multi millionaires but it wasn't enough. Shame on these corporate greedy sorry excuses for human beings!” - Royce Davis
150,000 Facebook views. 18,000 ‘likes’ supporting Teamsters 688 @ Schnucks
“The Facebook page has been flooded with support for Schnucks warehouse workers with over 150,000 page views and over 18,000 people commenting and ‘liking’ the content,” reports Chris Tongay, Local 688’s vice president.
Additionally, Local 688's Facebook page likes have increased by 42 percent and the Twitter followers have grown by 22 percent, he added.
SIGN ON, SIGN UP
“The St. Louis community is using social media to band together to support these workers and quality jobs in our region. We encourage supporters to like the page, follow us on Twitter and invite your friends and family,” added Mike Goebel, Local 688’s secretary-treasurer.
If you want to keep up on the efforts, or want to send a message in support of Local 688’s members or sent a personal comment to Schnucks (you can be sure they are watching Local 688’s Facebook page), here’s how:
- FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Teamsters688
- TWITTER: @Teamsters688
UAW member turns to graphic design to support Teamsters
Brother Nick Greco, a member of UAW Local 2250 at the GM plant, not only offered his support, he created and posted a message of encouragement along with his own artwork for others to use:
“I am from UAW local 2250, the GM plant. I stand behind you 100% and I am sure a lot of my fellow 2250 brothers and sisters are behind you as well. If and when and where you plan on striking/protesting, whichever you want to call it, I am willing to offer my time to help the cause. Stand strong everyone!
“Created a display pic to show my support for you all. Feel free to share it! https://www.facebook.co.”