Schnucks employees reject new contract offer - KMOV.com

Schnucks employees reject new contract offer

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Most of the 5,000 employees who voted on a new contract offer from Schnucks Monday casted a "no" vote Monday night.

Eighty-nine percent of Schnucks employees, who are members of UFCW Local 555, voted to to reject Schnucks offer. The offer on the table was a three year contract, which would affects employees in 52 Schnucks stores in the state of Missouri.

Many who voted "no" said they are concerned about the potential loss of healthcare benefits and potential problems for part-time workers. Even though they are concerned about what a strike would bring, they said they are ready to fight for their benefits.

Margaret Watkins has worked at Schnucks for nearly a decade and said they are not taking the decision on a potential strike lightly, especially given how it would affect customers.

“Our customers are like family, we don’t want to do anything that would hurt our family but on the other hand we have to protect our actual family. I have five daughters, I am still paying college tuition bills,” said Watkins. 

Union officials urged employees to vote "no" during the meeting. 

Schnucks said the contract offer helps them compete with growing non-union grocers like Costco and Target. The store chain also said its offer included increased contributions to health care.

Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck issued the following statement regarding the vote: 

We'll be meeting with 655 leadership for what we expect to be productive and meaningful discussions, just as we have had with numerous union leaders over the years.

Our goal remains the same - to deliver a solution that works for our teammates. It is important that we do this while keeping our business positioned to compete against the more than 580+ non-union supermarkets and stores that sell food throughout our metro area. 

As we’ve said before, taking care of our people and delivering the kind of shopping experience our customers want and deserve is what’s most important. Success in those two areas is what made Schnucks the choice for our customers for more than 75 years, and it is how we will succeed going forward.

The rejection of the offer does not automatically mean a strike. The union says it wants to go back to the negotiating table. If a strike occurs, the union must give five-days notice.

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