However, despite winning an injunction on an appeal, the company is now threatening to close the store and lay off over a hundred people. The union has asked for the stores financial accounts to show the need. So far, there's been no opening of the books, just a lot of bluster from the company and the store's manager.
The reason that they don't want to open their books is because then they'd have to explain why there isn't a financial need to break the workers' backs except for pure, unmitigated greed:
Earlier this year, company officials said that heightened competition from non-union grocery stores in Sheboygan had placed increased pressure on the south-side Piggly Wiggly. New Pick'n Save and Festival Foods groceries have opened nearby in the past year.We know that the manager is trying to bluster his way out of this by two things.
Despite that, David Livingston, a Waukesha-based grocery analyst, said he was shocked by the announcement, as the Piggly Wiggly store had historically been one of the company's top performing locations in the state, though he figures rifts with the union and increased competition may have changed that.
"It's always surprising when you have a nice store, doing historically well, that's suddenly closing," Livingston said. "It's just unfortunate."
The company's announcement to shutter the store follows what's been a long and increasingly bitter fight between the company and the employees' union, which has filed more than 120 unfair labor practice allegations against Piggly Wiggly Midwest.
One, he's been running the most successful Piggly Wiggly store in the region. Things don't go belly up that fast, even in Fitzwalkerstan.
Secondly, his stated concern of competition is rubbish since Pick'N'Save is a union shop as well. They have to pay the same wages as Piggly Wiggly. If the Pig's manager says he can't compete on a level playing ground, it shows that he's either lying or or unbelievably incompetent.
I know that Charlie Sykes and other right wing nut jobs have been trying to pin this on the unions, but the fact is that this is nothing more than greed and attempted union busting by the manager. If there was a real issue with being competitive, the manager would open his books to prove his case, as is required by labor laws. Then he could negotiate for the concessions he is seeking.
We can help our union brothers and sisters out, even if we aren't in Sheboygan. All we have to do is call the local Piggly Wiggly and tell them that we will stop shopping at their store if they don't call the Sheboygan manager and tell him to sit down and negotiate in good faith. Then follow through with it. I'll be calling the Piggly Wiggly store that I go to and doing just that.