UFCW Local 655 set to protest new Fields Foods location

Tax dollars shouldn’t support businesses that pay substandard wages and benefits, union president says

Missouri’s largest private-sector union, representing primarily grocery store workers, is protesting the opening tomorrow of a new grocery store that offers low pay and minimal benefits at the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday.

Fields Foods received significant support in the form of taxpayer dollars to open their new location despite the fact that they do not provide quality jobs and actively fight back against their own worker’s attempts at organizing a union, said United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655 President David Cook.

“We are happy to see grocery stores opening their doors in food deserts,” Cook said. “But when those stores don’t provide good wages and quality benefits, and when these businesses suppress their own worker’s right to organize a union, then why should these communities hand over their taxpayer dollars to build them?”

Fields Foods is owned and operated by Chris Goodson, who owns the equity management firm “Gilded Age.” Despite collecting tens of millions in taxpayer subsidies over the years, Goodson has refused to ensure that his workers earn the wages and benefits they deserve.

“We have hometown grocery operations like Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs,” Cook said. “These businesses rarely ask for a taxpayer handout and they provide quality jobs and good benefits, which means that workers and the communities they serve both benefit. I’m calling on Chris Goodson to do the right thing: stop building his business on the backs of the taxpayers and start paying his employees a better wage that meets the standards set by our other hometown grocers.

UFCW Local 655 plans on protesting at the ribbon-cutting ceremony taking place on Tuesday, March 7 at 5 p.m. at 6840 Page Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63133.

UFCW Local 655 is the largest private-sector local union in Missouri. They represent about 8,500 partners in the central and eastern portions of the state, primarily in the grocery industry, as well as in food processing, food service, cannabis and manufacturing.

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