Teamsters drivers considering strike at Schnucks over failed contract negotiations

POSSIBLE STRIKE – Schnucks Teamsters Local 610 drivers (from left) Mike Salata, Mike Gambino Sr. and Rick Schade hand-bill customers Friday at the Concord Schnucks to alert them of a possible strike next week over failed contract negotiations and ask for their support. – Labor Tribune photo

Bargaining to resume Monday

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

Teamsters Local 610, representing 129 drivers at Schnucks, gave the company notice Thursday of a possible strike after four months of failed contract negotiations.

Local 610 principal officer Dan Thacker said the drivers’ current contract expired April 1, and that the two sides have been negotiating since February. He said the main sticking point is pay, adding that drivers in the area are making almost $2 an hour more than the drivers at Schnucks.

“Our previous contract was negotiated pre-pandemic, and we got locked into pay raises that were way out of line with the rising inflation,” Thacker said. “The membership overwhelmingly rejected the last two contract offers, and I made it clear to them (Schnucks) that Monday is the last time we’re sitting down to talk about this.”

HANDBILLING
Drivers have been alerting customers of the potential strike by hand-billing at several Schnucks stores across the area since Thursday, Thacker said. Those efforts will continue through the weekend.

Meanwhile, Schnucks released the following statement: “Schnucks teammates who are members of Teamsters Local 610 had the opportunity to vote on the company’s latest contract offer yesterday (June 12). While we are disappointed that the proposal did not pass, we remain committed to continuing discussions at the bargaining table on Monday, June 17.”

‘ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT’
On Thursday, Local 610 took to Facebook asking customers to show support by handing this note to customer service at Schnucks stores:

“The Schnucks delivery drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 610, make daily sacrifices. They work long hours, holidays, evenings/nights and weekends. These proud men and women have dedicated years of service to ensure Schnucks customers have the products they need and to promote Schnucks to be the No. 1 grocery chain in the Metropolitan St. Louis area and beyond. We are now asking for your support as we try to achieve a fair and equitable contract.”

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