Stop & Shop customers who cross the UFCW’s picket line–although they may be few—are reportedly facing name calling, harassment, intimidation and threats.
For unions, when a non-union worker crosses a union picket line, it is one of the most “anti-union” things an individual can do. For that, unions often refer to those individuals as ‘scabs.’
However, when a business’ workers are out on strike, should the customers who choose to use that business also be called a ‘scabs?’
In the Shop & Stop strike, where more than 30,000 UFCW members are out on the picket lines, apparently customers are fair game for name calling, harassment and worse.
According to multiple reports, videos of customers are being recorded, and, as well, pictures taken, which are then used to harass people on Facebook.
According to at least one writer “the behavior of those picketing has turned many in the public against them.”
“Throwing things at a single mom who has a toddler in tow, yelling lousy things at people using the pharmacy or the bank or for whatever the hell they want to go in the store for, is beyond acceptable.”
In Danvers, UFCW strikers are publicly shaming small business owners and customers who cross the union’s picket Line.
They’ve also taken to calling customers other names as well.
On Wednesday, Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan addressed the strikers’ conduct on the company’s website:
“I deeply respect your right to picket. It is part of the civil discourse that is so central to our democracy. On several occasions, however, protests have gone far beyond civil – and customers and employees have been threatened, intimidated or put in situations that felt dangerous or disrespectful. That and illegal actions are things that we will – and I will – absolutely not stand for.”
“The strategy to harass is stupid and shameful,” writes Ken Pittman. “You are going to need those very same customers that you are berating, so even if you win your demands in negotiations, how long will those jobs be there if you’ve got no customers coming in?”