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ST. LOUIS -- Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Shop 'N Save are reducing the operating hours in their St. Louis stores as their employee members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655 begin a strike, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.
The workers voted to strike against the area's three largest grocery chains Tuesday morning by a 72 percent majority. The strike affects 21 Shop 'N Save stores, 55 Schnucks stores, and 19 Dierberg's stores in the St. Louis area on the Missouri side only.
Union members are picketing Shop 'N Save stores, which were the strike target. However, Schnucks and Dierbergs locked out their union employees, who are picketing at those stores, as well.
Stores will continue serving customers and are training temporary strike replacement workers, according to the Greater St. Louis Food Employers Council, which is representing the three chains. Some service centers have been temporarily closed at the stores.
Robert Kelley, president of Local 655, said the union was ready to get back to the bargaining table right away to find an agreement the members would accept. "How long this strike lasts is up to the companies' willingness to be reasonable and fair," he said in a statement.
"We spent six months in negotiations,[and] we told the companies that their offer was unacceptable to our members, but they insisted they knew best and would not budge," he said. "It should be clear now to the companies that our members are serious. This strike is a 'last resort' for our members."