The Teamsters' Shoppers From Hell

NOW HERE'S A NOVEL LABOR tactic: a shop-in. That's what Teamsters Local Union 122, deadlocked in bargaining with beer distributor August A. Busch, did to five Boston-area liquor stores it supplies. The distributor, owned by Anheuser-Busch, claims Teamsters disrupted business in November by crowding into stores to buy such things as potato chips using $20 and $50 bills. The company says this created long lines and depleted change, driving away business. The union says members were merely discussing grievances with customers.

The National Labor Relations Board got a U.S. District Court to temporarily enjoin the Teamsters' action. The issue of a permanent bar on the practice, which Busch calls an illegal secondary boycott, is to go before the five-member NLRB May 1. Contract talks are still going on between the company and the union, which has an anti-Busch bumper sticker slamming "Budweasel."

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