More Union Busting ^in the Kansas City Grocery Industry

Teamsters OK new AWG contract

Randy Heaster Star Article on Tentative Deal

NLRB Rules in Favor of Teamsters

From the 1940s through the 70s the Kansas City grocery industry was dominated by three national chains—Safeway, A&P, Kroger—and one locally owned, Milgram. The store employees were all unionized in the Meat Cutters and Retail Clerks. Suppliers were virtually 100 percent organized by Teamsters. Grocery industry jobs were good jobs with decent pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Twenty years ago that started changing. The national chains sold off their holdings to local investors, as did the Milgram family. The new owners went all-out to bust the unions with considerable success. There are few stores that are “wall-to-wall” union any more. Many grocery employees are part-time with few or no benefits. Wages have stagnated or even shrunk.

Now the grocery bosses are out to try to finish off another bastion of grocery unionism—the 1200 Teamsters members at Associated Wholesale Grocers. AWG is a consortium owned by local chains such as Price Chopper, Sun Fresh, Hen House, and Thriftway. They demanded that their workers give up millions of dollars in concessions. Failing to accomplish this in contract negotiations the grocery bosses are essentially trying to fire all their union workers and start out fresh with a new workforce through a legal fiction of contracting out to another employer.

The 1200 union men and women at AWG deserve the support of all working people in their fight to save decent jobs.

If you are a regular shopper at Price Chopper, Sun Fresh, Hen House, or Thriftway, tell them you'll be shopping elsewhere until they stop their union busting at AWG.

In the meantime you can shop at HyVee or IGA grocery stores.

We'll have updates on new developments on this site.


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