Losing $4.4 million for every 1,000 boycotters
By ED FINKELSTEIN
Schnucks Markets firing of 201 Teamsters Local 688 warehouse workers (plus 30 management) was a misbegotten economic decision, demonstrates a survey by Pro-Union St. Louis of its Facebook participants that were former Schnucks shoppers.
Schnucks is losing more in income from boycotting shoppers than it would have cost them to pay the union warehouse workers wages and benefits at their new north county warehouse that is now operated by scabs.
The survey received 379 responses. Those individuals spent an average of $4,379.68 a year at Schnucks, that’s $138,325 a month and $1,659,900 annually for the 379 people.
Using that base, notes Pro-Union St. Louis creator Steve Erdelen, for every 1,000 boycotters, Schnucks is losing some $4.4 million in sales annually in a highly competitive retail market.
That’s on top of the estimated $6.5 million being lost as union fire fighters in 118 firehouses across the region are boycotting Schnucks. Dozens of unions that buy holiday and awards gift certificates have also switched to other stores gift cards.
Now the shocker:
“Just 2,500 boycotters would normally spend as much at Schnuck’s as it would cost to give the 231 workers an average salary and benefits package that amounted to $47,008 a year,” Erdelen pointed out.
Noting that Schnucks received some county tax credits to build its new scab warehouse, Erdelen added:
“We keep hearing that projects will create ‘good jobs,’ but it’s time to determine exactly what a good job is. I can tell you with certainty that $10-12 per hour, with no benefits, is NOT a good job. Increased public support for the boycott will continue to make that clear.
“A boycott is business. Cold hard business. The more sales taken away, the better the negotiating position. Dollars talk and everything else walks.”
“The boycott of Schnucks continues stronger today than ever,” said Local 688 Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Goebel.
“We’re happy that the company resolved its labor issues with the UFCW, but our boycott continues to demonstrate that Schnucks could care less about the lives of workers loyal to them. They buckled only because there were over 4,000 clerks ready to hit the streets. Their strength in numbers was a positive for them,” Goebel said, adding:
“While kicking 231 other loyal workers to the curb doesn’t have the immediate impact of 4,000 ready to strike, the fact that thousands are boycotting Schnucks helps make up the difference.”
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORT
“The Pro-Union survey makes that point,” Goebel said. “We wholeheartedly thank everyone for their support. We encourage ALL union members to boycott Schnucks. Take your business to Dierbergs, Shop ‘n Save or Straubs. They are also good union employers.
“Schnucks will reconsider when the financial impact finally hits them. They could have transferred our members to their new warehouse and the cost would have been negligible. It only shows how Schnucks really feels about its workers.”