Grocery store workers’ union going after Kroenke, Walmart

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The union representing local grocery store workers is taking aim on an easy target. UFCW Local 655 hopes to exploit Stan Kroenke’s ties to Walmart in an attempt to win over customers for Dierbergs, Schnucks, and Shop ‘n Save stores.

“He is the Grinch that stole our football team,” said David Coog, President UFCW Local 655.

The union is spending $500,000 on a television and radio ad campaign. One of those ads encourages shoppers support stores with union workers instead of Walmart. The ad calls Kroenke a “Walmart billionaire” and makes reference to the fact he moved the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles.

It’s no secret union supporters and Walmart have been at odds over the years. UFCW Local 655 recently settled a rocky contract negotiation with Schnucks.

Kroenke married into the Walmart family and built his own fortune in part by developing strip malls. Many of the developments were anchored with a Walmart store.

“We’ll be running one week of heavy television commercials backed up by radio spots and then going back and forth between TV and radio through the holiday season,” Cook said.

Fox 2 News reached out to Stan Kroenke’s representatives for comment but we have not received a response.

Walmart sent our station the below statement and mapped out some of its economic impact in Missouri.
The retailer reports it employs 43,646 associates in Missouri and supports nearly 59,953 supplier jobs. Walmart reports its foundation has donated $42.7 million in cash and in-kind donations during the 2016 fiscal year, and paid $96.9 million in taxes in Missouri during the 2016 fiscal year.

“More than 13,000 people in the St. Louis area are working at Walmart this holiday season, helping their neighbors save time and money as they shop. We’re proud of what they do every day to take care of their community, and we appreciate their continued focus on providing great service to customers during this busy time of year.”