Two charges have been filed against Schnuck Markets by Teamsters Local 688 seeking to protect the rights of 190 of their warehouse members scheduled to be fired at the end of July when Schnucks opens a new warehouse staffed by non-union workers earning half the Teamster’s pay.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charges accuse Schnucks with dealing directly with the involved workers instead of dealing with Local 688 as federal law requires; and illegally preventing the union’s handbilling in front of the stores’ entrances, a right backed up by a memo from County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.
The charges pending before the Labor Relations Board (NLRB) include:
• RIGHT TO HANDBILL: Local 688 makes the point that Schnucks allows all kinds of groups – Girl Scouts, Salvation Army and many others – to stand in front of the stores soliciting money and signatures and handing out information. Not to allow the Teamsters to do the same thing is “discriminatory and unlawful,” and violates the National Labor Relations Act, their charge says.
The union’s right to educational handbilling directly in front of the stores is backed by a memo from the county prosecuting attorney that clearly says handbilling in front of the store is permissible as long as the union has filed an NLRB charge over the issue, which they have done.
• UNDERCUTTING THE CONTRACT: Under the current union contract, if Schnucks subcontracts or moves its warehouse, the workers have the right to be reemployed with the contractor or at the new location.
However, Schnucks has refused to acknowledge the workers’ reemployment rights with regard to the new warehouse. Instead, it began direct dealing with the members in an attempt to undermine the union’s grievance over this issue.
(See full coverage in the Labor Tribune’s May 12 print edition.)