If you live in the midwest and do your grocery shopping at your local Schnucks grocery story, you have been often met at the retailer’s door by a neighborhood girl scout troop, selling cookies or cheerfully greeted by a bell ringer from the Salvation Army collecting for the needy. Schnucks markets had a policy of giving back to the community by supporting local non profits and allowing them to solicit on their doorsteps.
The community loved the charitable position taken by Schnucks and generously supported the non profit groups they met on the Schnucks properties. All was peaceful and harmonious, … until … The Teamsters got a twist in their knickers.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the story.
Schnucks bans solicitors including Girl Scouts, Salvation Army at stores
Shoppers entering Schnucks groceries will no longer see cheerful Girl Scouts hawking cookies or Salvation Army bell ringers seeking donations.
All solicitors are being banned at Schnucks stores throughout the region, according to a new policy by the Maryland Heights-based chain that went into effect Monday.
The change will end a decades-long practice for St. Louis area nonprofit organizations, which have made a regular practice of soliciting donations and support near store entrances. Groups that regularly set up shop at area Schnucks stores are being notified this week.
“Schnucks has always been and always will be committed to community service and supporting organizations, entities and individuals in their community activities,” Schnucks’ spokesman Paul Simon said Tuesday in an emailed statement to the Post-Dispatch. “However, our primary obligation is servicing our customers by providing the most pleasant and convenient shopping environment. Because of this, we have decided to end the solicitation of our customers or distribution of written or other materials at our stores.”
The change, Simon added, is intended to “maintain and promote a safe, attractive, clutter-free shopping environment for our customers.”
The new policy comes as the family-owned chain, which has billed itself as the “Friendliest Stores in Town” since 1961, is embroiled in a fight with some local union leaders. Schnucks is laying off about 200 union warehouse workers in Bridgeton this year and Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO Logistics, a third-party logistics provider hired by Schnucks, is replacing them with nonunion workers at Schnucks’ new warehouse in Kinloch.
Teamsters Local 688, which represents the laid-off workers, has boycotted Schnucks stores in recent months and union workers have set up informational pickets outside Schnucks stores, handing customers leaflets about the dispute.
In May, the Teamsters filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that if others including the Girl Scouts and Salvation Army are allowed to stand in front of Schnucks stores, its union members should also be allowed.
Does this count as part of the “War on Women?”