facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Faithful shoppers lament loss of Poland grocery



Published: Wed, November 25, 2009 @ 12:01 a.m.

By RICK ROUAN

Vindicator staff writer

The Save-A-Lot store on the corner of U.S. Route 224 and Clingan Road in Poland on Tuesday morning did not look like a grocery store on the brink of closing.

Customers bustled in and out of the store. The pickets that have stood outside for two years continued their protest. Shelves were still full of groceries. But that all stops Wednesday at 9 p.m., when the store closes for the last time.

“Right now, you see, the store’s busy,” said Henry Nemenz Sr., the store’s owner. “It’s like the customers are coming to say their last goodbyes.”

The store opened four years ago, Nemenz said, after a study he commissioned concluded that a large percentage of people within a five-mile radius of the store are elderly and on a fixed income.

Those are ideal conditions for a Save-A-Lot store, which sells private-label brands that cost less than name brands, Nemenz said.

But soon after the store opened, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 pickets arrived — and have stayed — to protest the lack of a union in Nemenz’s stores. Nemenz said the pickets have been outside the store for two years, but the union said it has been protesting the Poland store since October 2008.

The pickets, coupled with customers telling Nemenz that the store lacks variety, have sent the store’s profits into a 25 percent free-fall in the last year, he said.

“It hurts to close it, but when it comes down to a financial decision, you have to make it,” said Nemenz, a 52-year veteran of the grocery business.

Some of the store’s customers were traveling the aisles for the last time on Tuesday.

Al Haire said that he shops in the store two to three times a week.

“We came here because prices were low,” said Haire, 57, of New Middletown. “I’m just so disappointed.”

For Laura Brammer, the closing will affect her family twofold: she loses her grocery store and her niece, a Save-A-Lot employee, will have to change jobs.

The prices at Save-A-Lot, Brammer said, are cheaper than other stores in the area.

“I count on the savings here to stay within my budget,” said Brammer, 48, of Struthers. “You have to know your prices.”

When the Poland store closes, Nemenz said he will own seven Save-A-Lot stores and that his son owns 10 stores. Nemenz also owns IGA grocery stores in the area.

The Poland store’s 15 employees will be reassigned to one of the Nemenz-owned Save-A-Lots or IGA grocery stores. Inventory from the closing store will be distributed among the other stores.

“A lot of people that are shopping here now will go to our other stores,” Nemenz said.

The Save-A-Lot chain has a relatively limited variety of products compared to other grocery stores. At Nemenz’s Save-A-Lot stores, he said he carries about 10,000 different bar codes compared to about 30,000 in IGA.

The store could reopen as an IGA, Nemenz said, but he does not have a timetable on when the necessary studies would be complete and a decision made. To reopen as an IGA likely would require knocking down a wall to expand the store floor, he said.

Pickets outside the store on Tuesday afternoon deferred to the union’s office for comment. Local 880 will respond only to written questions.

In a statement the union released, Local 880 President Tom Robertson said that the pickets’ purpose is to advise the public that Nemenz stores are “non-union stores and anti-union stores.”

Nemenz has closed stores before when profits dipped, but he said he prides himself on taking stores that were closed and making them profitable.

While Nemenz decides whether to re-open the Poland location in another form, customers say they will miss the prices Save-A-Lot provided.

“I can come here and I get double the amount of groceries for $50 here as I do [at other stores],” said Angelica Mrakovich, 38, of Poland.

rrouan@vindy.com


Comments

1bucnasty(17 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

What people seem to forget is that Phar-Mor was in that same building and did well. It's closing was not competition/revenue based as this one is. People will shop there if it is worth it. If it re-opens as an IGA with more name brand items, it has a much better choice than save-a-lot. If Nemenz can keep prices low on identical items that you can find across the street at Giant Eagle, he will do well. It's that simple.

Suggest removal:

2gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Mr. Nemenz and your loyal staff.
We will miss this location. However, we intend to continue shopping at The Boardman location and IGA in Struthers.

Whenever Mr. Nemenz or his "team", were asked to order various products they did.

This will affect customers that do not own cars or have to depend on friends to drive them. [Lack of Public Transportation in POLAND]

See you today at The Store.

Special THANKS and appreciation to The VINDY for covering this story.

Suggest removal:

3boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The only positive out of this is that those lazy, overweight union members who got paid to stand in front of a store will have to actually WORK somewhere now. Those fat lazy pieces of garbage actually got paid to DO NOTHING in front of a grocery store. I'm surprised they weren't begging for spare change while they were at it. Just another example of unions ruining 14 jobs for people who were happy being non union. I and my entire family will never buy a union made product again. Groceries, cars, whatever. I'm buying foreign until every union piece of trash is scrambling for the scrap metal at the end of my driveway on trash night. UNIONS ARE THE KNIFE IN AMERICAS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suggest removal:

4candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Local 880 will only respond to questions in writing.

...cowardly...

Suggest removal:

5AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

buc...you say that people will shop there if it is worth it. Sav-A-Lot offers a 40% savings over regular grocery stores. What more do you need to have it worth shopping there?? The products, although not brand name, are quality products. The meats are the same meats you will find in IGA. The people of Poland are to proud to shop there for fear that their neighbors may see them there. Take it from some body that does not have to worry about money, I shop at Save-A-Lot, Aldi
and Marcs.

Suggest removal:

6gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

^^I agree with 'BDMNneedschange' & candystriper.
UNIONS in certain situations are a plus; but a minus in others.
~~~People should not be FORCED to join unions.
We live in The U.S.A. We have freedom of choice:
where to shop, what to buy, where to WORK, etc.
~~~Does Local 880 really exist????

Suggest removal:

7hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I shop at Aldi and Marcs. But you are right, Poland people don't want to go into a Sav-a-Lot. The limited choice and quality and cleanliness there does not make it worth my time to look for bargains.
To working folks, "time is money".

There are plenty of Sav-a-Lots remaining in the area for "faithful shoppers" (how many can there be?) to patronize. And there IS public transportation in Poland.

Suggest removal:

8RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS, assumes that the pickets had no impact on the actual business. A poor assumption. Henry Nemenz should be praised for trying to bring new business to an area that most companies wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole because of the union influence. Instead, he is villainized by the unions.

Suggest removal:

9boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Local 880, Central Region
2828 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2470
216-241-5930
local880@apk.net

Everyone disappointed in the closing of this store should write to this agency and complain directly to :
Thomas H Robertson

UNIONS ARE THE KNIFE IN AMERICAS BACK

The workers at this store were polled and ALL of them said they would rather not lose money by paying union dues. If it could be proven that the union picketers kept enough customers away from this store to affect profits and therefore give reason to close, EXTORTION charges could be filed.

Suggest removal:

10Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Pickets outside the store on Tuesday afternoon deferred to the union’s office for comment. Local 880 will respond only to written questions.

In a statement the union released, Local 880 President Tom Robertson said that the pickets’ purpose is to advise the public that Nemenz stores are “non-union stores and anti-union stores.”

In the battle that UFCW wages for you to pay more at Giant Eagle know your facts and their agenda .

http://unionfacts.com .

This battle is all about more market share for Giant Eagle . The UFCW only cares when it come to paying their hierarchy huge salaries on the backs of the dues paying workers . The general public isn't supposed to know the facts .

THE HISTORY OF UFCW

The UFCW in recent years has been rocked by numerous corruption scandals. In 1998 Joseph Talirico, the former number two man in the UFCW National office, the Secretary-Treasurer, pleaded guilty to embezzling over $925,000 from UFCW Local 1 in New York. $10,000 of the money paid for Talirico’s hair transplant. Besides the $925,000 that was stolen, Talirico and four family members received over $1 million in Union salaries and expense accounts during the year 1996 alone.

A 1993 feature in New York Newsday revealed that while William Wynn was President he traveled the country in a $5 million jet owned by the UFCW, which costs the workers $1.3 million a year to maintain. In 1990 Wynn sold to the UFCW his house in Virginia for $620,000, twice the value of $337,000 assessed by the County. The deal, approved by top officers including Douglas Dority, then allowed Wynn to live in the house rent-free for three years until the scandal was exposed by a group of dissident UFCW Union members who have formed an anti-corruption organization called Research-Education-Advocacy-People. (REAP)

According to REAP, 70 percent of the $125 million collected each year by the National UFCW goes to pay for the Union bureaucracy. In 1998 President Douglas Dority received $264,000 in salary and another $71,000 in expenses. The UFCW Secretary-Treasurer received $202,000 in salary and $31,000 in expenses that year. 21 Vice-Presidents of the UFCW received an average of $141,000 in salary and an average of $24,000 in expenses each.

REAP has also revealed that UFCW Vice-President Gary Duckett, wanted for questioning by the FBI as a bank robbery suspect, was found floating in a Washington D. C. river with a gunshot wound to his head; that UFCW Vice-President Leo Cinaglia was convicted in Federal Court of taking bribes from an employer; that UFCW Comptroller Maria Coleman embezzled over $1.7 million from the workers; that the UFCW merged with a Brooklyn-based Union corrupted by the Luchese Mafia Family in 1998; that 5 officials of UFCW Local 174 in New York City were indicted for extortion; and that 2 UFCW Local 880 representatives in Ohio were cited in a $16,000 pay scam.

Suggest removal:

11candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

queen of the paid miserable shills,

... lying,deflecting,deleting,blocking other messages,dozens of aliases...

Suggest removal:

12boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I love me some stan.

Suggest removal:

13AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The UFCW Union is worthless and spineless.
If they were concerned about unionization they would picket Walmart, Marcs, Aldi and other non-union grocery stores.

Suggest removal:

14hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously, I don't think anyone cares much about the picketers, or the employee's bad decision.

Yea, they don't want to "waste" 25 dollars a month on union dues that would result in a pension when they retire.

Because they can trust that those of us who did sacrifice some income on such investment will take care of them.

Henry Nemenz talks about his employees on radio as if they are his loyal serfs. And apparently they are.

Suggest removal:

15AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

hellsbells..Henry is a far greater person then you will ever be...His employees are loyal because he treats them with respect and fairness.

Suggest removal:

16boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Considering the past history of This particular union and its financial practices, I wouldn't trust them with 25 dollars a month or a pension. if every union member fell over dead right now this whole world would be a much happier place.

Suggest removal:

17candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

...we are talking about FOOD...milk for a baby.

If you think a union company store will protect you when you have severe Carpal Tunnel from scanning a register for 30 years think again ... .just ask the ladies who have been with Kroger since 1979 ....

Suggest removal:

18Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

What your UFCW union dues pay for . . ..

The UFCW in recent years has been rocked by numerous corruption scandals. In 1998 Joseph Talirico, the former number two man in the UFCW National office, the Secretary-Treasurer, pleaded guilty to embezzling over $925,000 from UFCW Local 1 in New York. $10,000 of the money paid for Talirico’s hair transplant. Besides the $925,000 that was stolen, Talirico and four family members received over $1 million in Union salaries and expense accounts during the year 1996 alone.

Suggest removal:

19aztek519(29 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I am proud to live in a Right to Work state. I work in a non-union school district, fly on a non-union airline, and shop in non-union stores. I never see pickets, our schools never go on strike and our wages are more than competitive. I have yet to see the benefits of a union. I make significantly more teaching where I do than I would ever make in northeast ohio. When you can prove to me that unions are beneficial, I will listen.

Suggest removal:

20candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

boardmanneedschanges....queen of the paid shills...what's the problem?

I'm here waiting for you...

Suggest removal:

21candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

...I know you're there, hiding...my ax is sharp.

Suggest removal:

22FormerYtowner(96 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS,
Why are you defending an organization that just ran 14 people out of work?

Suggest removal:

23boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Candystriper what the hell are you talking about?

Suggest removal:

24ytownpunk(26 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Nemenz isn't hurting. He's opening other stores for crying out loud. The one in Poland was just a bad move and unfortunately he chooses to kick the union when it likely had nothing to do with anything at all.

Suggest removal:

25Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The Union has been picketing the Nemenz owned IGA for as long as I can remember. They dont let the picketers talk becuase the picketers are not union members. They are local shmucks, being paid minimum wage for day labor by the union to picket stores that refuse to do their bidding.

Giant Eagle is a union store and their prices are ridiculous. I only shop there when I have no other choice, and then I try to buy only the store brand goods. They simply charge too much for the same items as Aldi, Marcs, Save-a-Lot, and even Target and Walmart are kciking them in the rear as far as food pricing.

Suggest removal:

26Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"The Feds charged that Nemenz later offered Traficant free gifts and services worth over $100,000 in exchange for Traficant’s help in squashing the efforts by the UFCW...."

Traficant was supported by the UFCW . Can you say, "SHAKEDOWN" ?

" How did the leadership of the UFCW’s national office in Washington react to Congressman Traficant’s action against them? By continuing to make cash contributions to Traficant’s re-election campaigns, according to documents maintained by the Federal Election Commission."

Suggest removal:

27RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Motivated by profit? Isn't that the purpose of making a capital investment in a business? Or is profit a dirty word with you socialist?

Suggest removal:

28redvert(2048 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

There was a individual that posted here sometime back I believe about Delphi retirees getting their benefits. Though I did not agree with her on some things she said, I certainly agreed with one term she used and that was "the Ytown mentality." Some of you may not understand what she meant but I am sure many of you do.

For those of you may want to whine about my comment, "you have the floor"

Suggest removal:

29Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

UFCW is utilizing your union dues to the max !

UFCW REFORM

http://ufcwreform.org/articles/ufcw_o...

Suggest removal:

30UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The UFCW has no business picketing these stores so that people lose their regular paying jobs. Unions are suppose to help people, not cause their job losses. It's sad to see outsiders destropy valley businesses. Yes, I would love to see a union there, but jobs are more important.

Suggest removal:

31Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

UFCW reform organization.

http://www.ufcwreform.org/

We're a group of UFCW members form across North America who are proud to stand in solidarity with our fellow workers; but who are ashamed of and outraged by the bloated bureaucracy, and the corruption that exists within the UFCW International and several of its affiliated locals. It is our belief that a real labor union is one that is driven by the power that can only arise through the democratic involvement of the membership. To that end, we've decided to create a UFCW reform organization.

Suggest removal:

32XFilesX(77 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Seriously, I don't think anyone cares much about the picketers, or the employee's bad decision.

Yea, they don't want to "waste" 25 dollars a month on union dues that would result in a pension when they retire.

Because they can trust that those of us who did sacrifice some income on such investment will take care of them."

Excuse me, but I am in a union. I pay FAR MORE than $25 a month and the ONLY thing my union does for me is take me money. It protects the senior people who are lazy. I work my tail off and the older, lazy ones do NOTHING. There are people who should and WOULD be let go in the real world. But in Fantasy Land/Union World, they are protected. And my father was a Teamster who, when the chips were down, was a sacrificial lamb for them. They did NOTHING for him. The protected the older ones and sacrificed him. So don't tell me about unions.

Suggest removal:

33XFilesX(77 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and one more thing about that pension, THERE IS NO PENSION FOR ALL UNION PLACES! That is a common lie told by unions. We just lost ours. In this day and age, the only "pension" you can count on is the 401K you put away yourself.

Suggest removal:

34candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

When a union member has her hours cut does the union allow her to reduce her union dues or cancel her union membership? Is she allowed to reduce the amount she pays in her pension? Is she allowed to borrow from her pension to cover her expenses when she has been furloughed 4 days a month? The answer to all those questions is NO if you are employed by the state of California.

Suggest removal:

35gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ALL:
Thank you for your comments and information.
'hellsbells'...really did NOT know there is public transportation available in Poland, OH.
Please advise when you have time.

In the meantime: WE all work for a living.
OR: some people/citizens claim the '15 minutes of FAME' by whatever means.
Then they get "A REALITY TV SHOW"....????

Have a great day.

Suggest removal:

36Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

XFilesX :

In the UFCW the union members are there to support the oppulent lifestyles of the leadership . Unless the members regain control of their union the dues will continue to be squandered . The wasting of union dues on informational picketing for several years is a prime example . Underfunded pension plans for the workers is a direct result of the waste . The pension funds of the leadership have been and continue to be funded at 100% . This says it all .

Suggest removal:

37candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Testing...Testing...NoBS? ...blocked from posting or linking for Union paid shill...or just cowering in the corner...new shill alias...

Suggest removal:

38gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ALL:
Each and everyone of Mr. Henry P. Nemenz's employees were transferred to other locations.
[either IGA or Save-A-Lot Stores].
~Only ONE [1] young lady decided to complete her college degree and resign.
She will always be welcome to return at HER request. We wish her well in her studies.
~~Have a great day.

Suggest removal:

39Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

ORGANIZED CRIME

EXPOSING CORRUPT ACTIONS BY UFCW 880

http://library.findlaw.com/1997/Aug/4...

E. A & D Supermarkets, Inc. v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local Union 880
In 1988, UFCW Local 880 initiated an aggressive campaign against various independent non-union retail grocery stores in northeast Ohio. The campaign included picketing and extensive use of mass media.

Local 880 also entered into collective bargaining agreements with unionized supermarkets containing a "wage stabilization" clause.

That clause permitted the unionized supermarkets to reduce the union employees' wages to the level paid by the non-unionized stores unless the union was picketing the non-unionized stores.

The non-unionized stores brought an action against the union and its officers alleging various violations of the Sherman Act, the Ohio Monopolies Statute, and a claim for tortious interference with business relationships under Ohio law. No. C88-3551 (N.D. Ohio). Although the unionized stores were alleged co-conspirators, they were not joined in the action.

Suggest removal:

40candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

So, pioneers came here for better zoning laws and the UFCW...lol.

Suggest removal:

41gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@CANDYSTRIPPER......
Dear,
I hope and pray that I do KNOT know you?
Please.
Most respect to you and yours.
~~~~best

Suggest removal:

42Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS :

"Nice site, Stan. But don't you think it's a wee bit slanted against unions?"

Factual recorded information and those that are profiled have earned the notoriety .

Findlaw is a site for attorneys and they record case law . http://library.findlaw.com

So NoBS you have a problem with law I see . The UFCW has a problem with law also . You have much in common . Are you a member ?

Suggest removal:

43candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS, I have to admit you could be correct regarding the reasons that the Poland store is closing...it kills me to say that...lol...I do not agree with you that the pickets didn't hurt his bottom line.

you are still a paid union shill...lol.

Suggest removal:

44Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS :

Do you want some cheese to go with your whine ? You sure do write like a disgruntled UFCW member . You seem to be ashamed of UFCW actions and don't want them exposed . There is no need to smear the UFCW as they do a fine job in tarnishing their own image .

Suggest removal:

45Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

NoBS :

"Stan - you've been a Nememz suckup from day 1. Do you think you're in his will or something? "

UFCW has been taking advantage of Henry for years and I tired of watching it happen and doing nothing . There are many non union employers in The Valley that provide jobs and serve our needs . If a place of business doesn't desire to be be unionized so be it . Why picket them for years until they shut down ?

We need legislation to limit informational picketing by non employees to no more than sixty days . Write to your elected officials and let's bring about change !

Suggest removal:

46JD010101(137 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Vote Ohio a right to work state and see how the jobs start coming in from other states. Boeing is relocating from Washington to NC because of this. Unions are dinasaurs and only soak up the money in dues from hard working employees and give nothing in return to the members, companies or communities. Todays UNIONs are worthless.

Suggest removal:

47candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

hope4thevalley,

...suburbanites know what is important in life...green lawns, good sports fans, taking the trash out on time and shipped tennis shoes..unity by privacy and self-deception!

Suggest removal:

48Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

The ill will of UFCW and very high prices have caused Giant Eagle to lose many customers .

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport