By ED FINKELSTEIN
After 277 days of boycotting Schnucks Markets, the 102 members of Teamsters Local 688 still working in the Schnuck Bridgeton warehouse Monday morning ratified a new five-year contract that guarantees their job security for the life of the agreement, said Local 688 Chief Executive Officer Mike Goebel.
Acceptance of the new agreement immediately ends the nine-month boycott.
The new agreement, accepted by an 80-percent margin:
- Guarantees the jobs of the 102 workers, by name, working at the Bridgeton warehouse which has remained open during this entire fiasco.
- Provides a “very nice financial settlement” — $1,000 for every year of service — for the 34 Teamsters who were fired but did not take a Schnucks original severance package buyout and were part of an arbitration. When the firings began last April, of the 200 fired, 166 workers accepted a buyout offer that the union urged them not to do. Those 166 workers will see no additional benefit from the new agreement.
- Increases in both the company-paid health-care and company-paid retirees health-care contributions. The union’s health care plan remains.
- A new dollar-for-dollar 401(k) match by the company up to 4 percent which is in addition to the members’ Teamsters pension. For those members who continued to work in the Bridgeton warehouse, pension payments will be retroactive to December2016 when Schnucks stopped making pension payments.
- Schnucks will make a lump sum payment of millions of dollars into the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund to cover the withdrawal liability over the lost members at the new warehouse.
- The company is also offering a comprehensive buyout package for up to 50 of the Bridgeton warehouse workers who might want to take retirement now.
We'll have more on this development in the March 23 print edition of the Labor Tribune.