Remaining Teamsters fired Oct. 9; 231 loyal employees out-of-work
By ED FINKELSTEIN
Three more unfair labor practice charges against Schnucks have been filed by Teamsters 688 in their continuing boycott of the chain. One has already produced a victory and the other two charge Schnucks with outrageously trying to stifle freedom of speech.
The new charges include:
- Schnucks illegally removed Teamster boycott signs posted in public areas near the Butler Hill store, areas that are not owned by Schnucks but are open to the public at all times.
- Schnucks illegally called police and/or threatened to call police on handbillers simply because their cars parked in the public spaces on parking lots adjacent to their store had “Boycott Schnucks” signs.
- The union’s victory came after charging the owner of a shopping center in Oakville with preventing Teamsters from exercising their legal rights to stand in front of the Schnucks store there. Teamsters won this battle without a hearing as the center owner, Felfam Oakville, LLC, set precedence by agreeing that the union can be on its property at the store instead of being forced to handbill at the entrances of the shopping center, as is the case where Schnucks owns the entire center.
The Teamsters are now handbilling directly in front of Schnucks stores where it does not own the entire center.
“This is simply yet another outrageous example of Schnucks attempting to stifle our union members’ rights to protest the unfair, and illegal, firing of 231 loyal warehouse workers and replacing them with scabs in their new north county warehouse,” said Teamsters Local 688 Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Goebel.
The union’s first and major unfair labor practice charge — that Schnucks has unilaterally broken its contract that calls for all workers to follow their jobs — is now pending before the National Labor Relations Board. Final briefs are due by Oct. 19 before the NLRB issues a decision.
231 LOYAL WORKERS GONE
On Sunday, Oct. 9 Schnucks fired the balance of the 201 Teamsters and 30 management workers from their warehouse jobs, even as many of them had 20, 30, and 40 years of working for Schnucks, shoved to the curb in the name of increasing profits.
Last year, Forbes listed Schnucks as a $2.7 Billion company, the 168th largest private company in America, a position that has been improving over the years: 2009 the 191st largest, 2010 the 174th largest.
“But our members are staying strong and picketing continues,” said Teamsters warehouse Business Representative Mike Schlueter.
THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP
He again thanked Teamsters and retirees from other locals as well as union members from other locals for joining them on the picket lines.
As an example of the support, he noted that almost two dozen machinists from Machinists District 9 showed up in mass to help picket on Oct. 7 at the Des Peres store.
“It’s been a wonderful show of solidarity, including encouragement from many of the clerks inside the store who give us the high sign on their way to and from work even as they are facing their own problem with the greedy company,” Schlueter added.