Long-time valley grocer Henry Nemenz says three-years of union picketing and a lack of community support is behind the decision to close his Sav-A-Lot store in Poland this week. The store has 25 employees. Nemenz says while there are other non-union stores in the valley - the Food and Commercial Workers continue to target his small businesses. The union says it's not picketing to organize Nemenz employees, but to discourage people from shopping at non-union stores.
I'll provide the necessary funds and pickets to the Sav-A-Lot store in Poland so that the employees, their families and friends may picket any nearby UFCW store. I pay $3 an hour until the UFCW DOGS are called off of my Sav-A-Lot.
I own and control more SVU equity on this earth than anyone else and Sav-A-Lot is a SuperValu banner store.
Save-A-Lot in Poland has been open for four years, but at the end of the day Wednesday, it will close its doors for the final time.
"The volume has not increased, especially in the past year," said owner Henry Nemenz. "It has kind of declined a little. We're not sure if it was the picketing that caused some of it."
The picketing Nemenz is talking about involved United Food and Commercial Worker Local 880 members. They set up informational pickets about a year ago.
"The purpose of the pickets is to truthfully advise the public that the Nemenz stores being picketed, and indeed all Nemenz grocery stores are non-union stores and anti-union stores," said Tom Roberston President of local 880. "Local 880 does not want to see any grocery store close. Local 880 wants to see all grocery employers treat their employees fairly by providing them with jobs that pay living wages and benefits."
This isn't the first time that the UFCW has set up in front of a Nemenz store. Just last year in Hubbard, Henry Nemenz closed an IGA that was being picketed.
Customers in Poland said that union or non-union, they're just upset there is one less choice for grocery shopping.
"I'll miss it, because I shop at both stores. It's a shame," said June Young, who lives in Poland
All 25 workers in Poland will be transferred to other Nemenz stores
POLAND — The Nemenz Save-a-Lot grocery store at the corner of U.S. Route 224 and Clingan Road will close at the end of business Wednesday.
Henry Nemenz Sr., owner of seven other Save-a-Lot stores in the area, said the 15 Poland store employees have been notified of the closing and have been transferred to other Save-a-Lot or
Nemenz-owned IGA grocery stores.
“No one will lose their job,” he said.
Nemenz said he is closing the store because the customer count is down, potentially partially caused by picketing by the United Food and Commercial Workers union for three of the four years it has been there.
Nemenz said there is a possibility the store will be reopened as an IGA grocery store. He said the company is conducting a feasibility study now.
Nemenz said he will have seven Save-a-Lot stores after the Poland store closes, and his son, Henry Jr., owns 10 stores. Nemenz also owns IGA grocery stores in Struthers, Lincoln Knolls Plaza and Canfield.
Between father and son, they have in excess of 1,000 employees, the elder Nemenz said.