Grocery union targeting St. Louis stores it considers 'bad employers'

Local 655 president David Cook wants people to consider worker pay when deciding where to shop.

Michael Calhoun
September 12, 2019 - 9:14 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The union that represents workers at the region's biggest supermarkets is starting a campaign to shame those stores who don't pay their workers as much.

You'll see a social media campaign against what the UFCW Local President terms "bad employers."

Their initial target is locally-owned Fields Foods.

"There's always a first," Local 655 president David Cook said. "I don't want any other employers that are listening to this interview to think this is a one-and-done. This is clearly step one."

Cook says there's a "substantial difference" between what Schnucks and Dierbergs pay and what non-union stores offer, especially when considering health and retirement benefits..

"It's real simple -- one job ought to be enough," he told KMOX News. "If you work at Fields Foods, clearly one job isn't enough. They're not providing quality jobs and quality benefits."

Fields Foods owner Chris Goodson disputes that his workers are compensated poorly.

"I treat our employees like they're family and part of the revival that's going on in parts of the city that have been blighted for decades," Goodson said, citing their expansion into areas considered "food deserts."

He added: "I know Dave and I want to have a conversation and hear from him. That's where I am right now."

Cook says the campaign is only starting with Fields Foods and will also seek to change consumers' minds about shopping at places like Walmart too.

© 2019 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved