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Union Strikes Against Three Largest Grocery Chains

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – After their strike vote, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union decided to picket only Shop & Save supermarkets.

The chains bargained together-and all three have all locked out union workers.

Union President Bob Kelley says shoppers should not expect much from temporary replacement workers.

"When you have 10,000 employees in this industry, that's not an easy task, and the quality you get of people who are willing to do this kind of work behind the picket line is generally substandard," Kelley said.

Kelley says customers should go to any of 30 area unionized stores that are not part of the three chains.

Michael Kaemmerer, a spokesman for the Greater St. Louis Food Employers' Council, commented on why all three stores locked out its union workers.

"Everyone knows who's in this business-including the union, a sophisticated union-that a strike against one is a strike against all," Kaemmerer said. "We're doing what we agreed to and what they knew. We had no choice."

The stores are continuing to hire temporary workers, and have limited hours from 10 A-M to 7 P-M.

Illinois stores are not affected.

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