Earlier this week a long running labor dispute between Piggly Wiggly Midwest and one of its labor unions finally boiled over, with the grocery store operator announcing it would close its Sheboygan store, putting 108 employees out of work.
In a statement released via email, Piggly Wiggly Midwest Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Butera said the store in Sheboygan was being closed because it had posted “continued and sustained losses.”
Over at Cognitive Dissidence, Chris “capper” Liebenthal is calling for action:
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.
Since capper wants folks to call Piggy Wiggly to tell them to sit down and negotiate in good faith, perhaps capper can get ahold of Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski (who capper once did paid consulting for) and ask Zielinski to do the same.
After all, I’m betting a phone call from Tony Zielinski to Paul Butera would do some good, considering Butera was a supporter of Zielinski’s most recent reelection campaign. In fact, here’s a photo of Tony Zielinski with Paul Butera, the chairman, CEO, and president of Piggly Wiggly Midwest.
As I wrote on Blogging Blue, Paul Butera is notable not only because he’s the operator of the Sheboygan and Bay View Piggly Wiggly stores (among others), but also because he’s so anti-union he’s actually been sanctioned by the National Labor Relations Board for his improper actions in dealing with labor unions representing his employees.
I’m all for calling on Paul Butera to do the right thing and actually negotiate with his employees (instead of simply trying to dictate terms to them), but while we’re trying to hold Paul Butera accountable, maybe we should also try to hold his “friends in high places” accountable as well. If he were any friend to labor (or the liberal he says he is), Alderman Tony Zielinski would issue a statement immediately calling for Paul Butera to do the right thing.