Grocery worker's strike

The union is striking at the "Big Three" grocery stores in St Louis, pickets are out in the parking lot, store hours are now 10am to 7pm.  Inside the stores, the temporary people are not trained and everything is slow.  The self-scan checkout is probably the fastest option now.  The dispute is over pay, future raises, and benefits.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 voted 4,252 to 1,670 to go on strike, 72% in favour.  The main target was Shop 'n Save, but Schnucks and Dierbergs are hit too, ninety seven stores in total.  Thankfully the pharmacies are open.  The vote was taken at 5am in downtown St Louis, and only half the union turned up to vote.  The Teamsters don't want to cross the picket lines, so there may be delivery problems too.

I remember a lot of teacher strikes when I was in school, the NUT (National Union of Teachers) called for strikes regularly.  They were rarely more than a day, but a national teacher's strike messed the whole country up.  That's what I don't get about strikes.  You mess with people's routine, and expect them to support that, applaud it even?  Strikes are a threat, I understand that part, and it's costing the grocery stores a lot.  Union spokesman Ed Finkelstein is quoted in the St Louis Post Dispatch website as saying that if the stores had given their final offer, the strike would end "when hell freezes over."

This is a union town, and the unions have a lot of power.  From what I know, unions are good for the employees, and not so good for employers.  Software developers could really do with a union to stop the routine abuse of programmers and their employers' demands for ridiculous hours.  Right now, no one can stop it.  Employers would complain bitterly if anyone tried, and the only way it would work is if a big majority of programmers across the country joined the union.  I doubt that will happen.  I have some sympathy for the strikers, but I don't think strikes solve anything.  There has to be a better way to negotiate than this.

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