The grocery cooperative moved its trucking and warehouse operations in Springfield, MO, and Kansas City, KS, earlier this year to non-union outside contractors. AWG said the move was necessary to compete with big chains, but the union claimed the company did not bargain in good faith.
The NLRB is expected to rule within a week on the union's charges. If NLRB investigators decide that Associated engaged in bad faith bargaining - meaning they had already made a decision to outsource before negotiating - the board probably will instruct the company to go back to the bargaining table.
More than 200 employees in Oklahoma City walked out April 4, joining the 1,200 drivers and warehouse workers from Springfield and Kansas City who were locked out April 1.
The union has been picketing warehouses and handing out flyers at grocery stores urging customers to boycott the stores.