Urges shoppers to NOT put money in Stan Kroenke and Walmart’s pocket
By ED FINKELSTEIN
UFCW Locals 655 and 88 recently launched a unique, major TV ad campaign urging shoppers to buy their holiday groceries from their friends and neighbors who work at local union food chains instead of buying from Walmart stores where St. Louis trasher Stan Kroenke makes his fortune.
“For a long time St. Louisans have been looking for a way to send Kroenke a message about the way he trashed St. Louis in moving the Rams to Los Angeles,” said Local 655 President David Cook.
“There’s no better way than buying locally at one of the major food chains that employ our members who are your friends and neighbors. Not only will you be supporting good paying union jobs that support those friends and neighbors, you’ll be sending a message to Kroenke who is an integral part of the Walmart family, making his fortune with Walmart.”
The ads began airing Nov. 18. They are the largest single advertising buy in the unions’ history. The unions represent about 12,000 people working at the four major area food chains, Schnucks, Dierbergs, Shop ‘n Save and Straubs.
The commercial will draw shoppers’ attention to Stan Kroenke, the owner of the NFL Rams who moved his team from St. Louis to Los Angeles last year. Kroenke made a significant portion of his fortune by building Walmart stores across the country as a real-estate developer, and is married to a Walmart heiress.
Local 655 hopes the commercial will encourage football fans and responsible shoppers to consider the impact of where they spend their money on groceries, particularly ahead of the holiday shopping season.
“While union food stores pay their employees a solid wage, provide health care and retirement benefits, Walmart is more concerned with their own profits – to pay more stock benefits to Kroenke – and blackmails communities into giving them money to help them build their stores and then moves out when there’s better pickings down the road, leaving many St. Louis communities holding the bag,” Cook noted.
UNION SHOPPING HAS POSITIVE COMMUNITY IMPACT
Cook pointed out that money spent at union stores also has a significant positive impact on the community.
“As our members earn good wages, they spend them throughout the area helping our entire community grow. The general public needs to understand there is a difference in where they choose to spend their money,” Cook said.
“When they shop at union grocery stores like Schnucks, Shop ‘n Save, Dierbergs, and Straubs, they are helping the single mother working part time to keep her health insurance for her and her children, they are helping families facing large medical costs meet them without fear of losing everything they own.
“And most importantly, they are supporting local businesses who are hiring their neighbors, family and friends. When you spend money at Walmart, all you’re doing is padding the pockets of billionaires like Stan Kroenke, who says St. Louis is dying, proving once and for all that they really don’t care about this community.”
Local 655 is the largest private-sector local union in Missouri, representing more than 10,000 local workers, primarily in the grocery industry.