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Laumeier

Urges fair treatment for members of UFCW


To the editor:

Most of us in the mainstream of the American work force toil in our trades or professions with a great deal of dedication and perseverance.

We work 7 to 3:30, 8 to 4:30, 3 to 11:30, 4 to 12:30 or the graveyard shift, respectively. We all go to our grocery stores and, myself included, take a lot of the friendly, courteous and professional services we receive from the employees for granted.

Henceforth, these employees of Schnucks Markets Inc., Dierbergs Markets and Shop 'n Save who belong to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 have bills, families, homes to pay for, families, aspirations and dreams just as all the rest of us do. They are flesh and blood with hearts and souls, not inanimate life forms.

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers currently are negotiating a new contract with Schnucks, Dierbergs and Shop 'n Save, and I believe it is apparent that the big three have not negotiated in good faith at the bargaining table.

Management has failed to negotiate a decent, fair, honest and humane contract with these hard-working and dedicated em-ployees.

New stores are often being built. Stores are remodeled even when they are in good condition. This is not to even mention the bonuses management receives.

These employees of the UFCW do not have store-level seniority, which means if there is a conflict or disagreement with management they could be moved to a store 20 to 30 miles away. As for a work-related injury, the UFCW employees have to pay for a second opinion out of their own pocket.

Hard-working cashiers can't even have bottled water under their cash registers. I would presume if a person talks to 500 to 1,000-plus customers per day, one's throat might get a little parched, and I know that management always speaks to its employees without being rude and without any hu-miliating or condescending manner.

When any one of us goes to these so- called proverbial super stores — Costco, Sam's, Wal-Mart — to buy food, we are destroying the UFCW workers' livelihood and are inadvertently contributing to the demise of their well-being and economic security.

We need our jobs and so do they. We want fair treatment and contracts. Why can't they also get honest, humane negotiations?

I am appealing to all union people, past or present, next time we go to shop into one of the big three — Schnucks, Shop 'n Save and Dierbergs — tell one of the management people that we are very unhappy the way they are treating their employees as far as that goes one does not have to or even have to had belonged to organized labor to say this. Just be a humane and godly human being.

A twist of irony to this whole thing is, in general, blue collar-workers pay a great deal of taxes for their local school districts. At present it is very difficult for most anyone in labor to get an honest contract. School bonds give administrators whom already have very curative salaries $5,000 to $10,000 annual raises. Is this a slap in the face or what?

The economic situation is simple: NAFTA, GATT, China most-favored trade status. To me, those involved in this are Communist traitors and should be banished from the United States of America and their citizenship stripped.

Be American, buy American. Pray for the UFCW workers.

Mike "Grassroots'' Povich

Green Park

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