Make no mistake about it, the food workers union sees Wegmans, and to a somewhat lesser degree, Harris Teeter as a major threat. They have provided financial and logistical support to any effort aimed at derailing the development plans of these two non union stores.
In Maryland, the battle is currently being waged in Crofton and Columbia. Wegmans has announced plans to open stores in both communities and in both communities the union has marshaled its resources in an attempt to stop the stores from opening.
They haven’t always been candid about their actions either.
According to this story by Joshua Stewart in The Capital last year, “A prominent Crofton activist who testified against development atop a fly ash landfill in Gambrills may have violated ethics rules by failing to inform legislators he is a paid lobbyist for a food workers union opposed to a supermarket over the site.”
“If the bill was amended as Mr. Jacobsen proposed, it would stop developer Greenberg Gibbons Commercial from building the Village at Waugh Chapel South, a project with homes, restaurants, a movie theater and a Wegmans grocery store, over a 13-year-old fly ash landfill.”
In Columbia, the union literally created the lead plaintiff in the main suit challenging Wegmans. According to this story by Nate Sandstrom in the Howard County Times last year, an intern cold calling for the union enlisted Phillip Rousseau after knocking on his door.
“Rousseau said he joined the group after a man named Craig Martin approached him at his home this fall and said he represented a group concerned about traffic in the area. Rousseau said he later learned Martin worked for a union group, although he did not know which one.”
The unions concern for fly ash and traffic is fungible. If Wegmans elected to become a union shop, their concerns about rights to petition, traffic, and fly ash would disappear along with their support of the opposition groups, including the federal lawsuit plaintiffs, Paul Kendal, Phillip Rousseau, et al.
Northern Flicker Rising
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