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Sat Oct 29, 2016, 05:56 AM

Schnucks employees approve contract, avert strike

ST. CHARLES • Schnucks’ cashiers, baggers and other employees voted overwhelmingly to approve a three-year contract Wednesday night, ending a months-long battle over health insurance and wages that put St. Louis’ largest independent grocery chain on the brink of a strike.

Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 who are employed by Schnuck Markets Inc. voted 1,020-507 to approve the contract, or 67 percent of the total votes cast.

One month ago, 89 percent of employees assembled at the same auditorium at the Family Arena in St. Charles voted to reject an earlier version of the proposed contract, sending negotiators back to the bargaining table. The last contract expired May 8.

The union’s president, David Cook, called the changes to pensions, wages, insurance and work rules “substantially improved” but conceded the union didn’t get everything it wanted. “Is this everything I wish it was? Absolutely not,” he told those assembled before they cast their votes.


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