In an innovative strategy to seek an end to an unfair labor practice strike, the union representing workers at the Dunkin’ Donuts Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center in Swedesboro, New Jersey, today announced that it has started running radio ads in Scranton, PA, where the Board Chairman, Henry Roever, owns several Dunkin’ Donuts retail stores. The union, with the help of other unions in the Scranton and Wilkes- Barre areas, also started handbilling customers of Roever’s stores on Monday.
At a news conference held today in Scranton, area labor leaders joined forces in support of the UFCW Local 1360 effort. Tom Lazur, the Recording Secretary of Pennsylvania-based UFCW Local 1776, said that his local union and many unions in the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre area were “pulling out all the stops” in an effort to help their fellow union members from New Jersey.
“It is just not right that a guy like Henry Roever can make his fortune selling Dunkin’ Donuts products to union members here in the Scranton area while violating federal labor laws at his warehouse in South Jersey,” Lazur said. “The guy, Lou, in the radio ad has it right when he says ‘that stinks!'”
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1360, which is based in West Berlin, New Jersey, began running radio ads on Monday, July 16th, featuring “Harriet,” a unionized grocery store worker, who is talking to “Lou,” a customer, about the reasons why the workers in south Jersey went on strike. In the ad, “Harriet” tells “Lou” that Dunkin’ Donuts has committed 70 unfair labor practices against union members and that her union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, was asking customers not to shop at the stores owned by Henry Roever until the dispute is settled.
Hearing “Harriet’s” explanation, “Lou” indignantly says Roever’s actions “stink” and he vows to stop shopping at any Dunkin’ Donuts stores until the strike is settled.
(To hear the ads, which were prepared by the union’s public relations firm, Wolper & Ritter Associates, Inc., visit their website at www.wolper-ritter.com and click on the link under “Audio Files” on the home page. Other examples of the UFCW Local 1360’s “Harriet and Lou” ads which have run in the past in New Jersey are also archived at this location.)
Since the walk out began seven weeks ago, the striking Dunkin’ Donuts workers have maintained an around-the-clock vigil at the Distribution Center in Swedesboro, New Jersey. The Union has filed over 100 complaints of federal labor law violations against Dunkin’ Donuts; and the National Labor Relations Board has, to date, found that Dunkin’ Donuts has committed over 70 violations of federal labor laws in its attempt to prevent the workers at the warehouse facility from gaining union representation.
UFCW Local 1360 Organizing Director Rose Kelly, who is heading up the team handbilling the Roever Dunkin’ Donuts stores, noted that UFCW Local 1360 has also called for a national boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts. She said her union was prepared to continue its radio ad campaign and that the union has also started handbilling the Dunkin’ Donuts stores owned by other members of the Board of Director of the warehouse this week.
“We are going to keep reminding Dunkin’ Donuts customers that Henry Roever and Dunkin’ Donuts are breaking federal labor laws for as long as it takes for them to come to their senses and settle this strike,” she said.
UFCW Local 1360 represents 10,000 workers in the retail food, food processing, health care and service industries in southern New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania.