Giant Food Inc. hired more than 100 temporary warehouse workers yesterday in an attempt to get its shelves better stocked, particularly with Giant brand products.
As the strike by truck drivers of Teamsters Local 639 dragged into its fourth week, the region's largest supermarket chain continued to resume operations at its warehouse, baking and dairy facilities.
A line of 300 people stretched outside Giant's Landover headquarters in response to $10.75 per hour jobs advertised in Sunday newspapers. Giant officials said yesterday that the company had hired 110 temporary workers and was continuing to interview.
"They are trying to break the strike," said Roy Essex, business agent for Teamsters Local 730, which represents Giant's 1,100 warehouse workers. The warehouse workers are not on strike, but have honored truck drivers' picket lines.
The company wrote two letters to the warehouse and dairy workers last week asking them to return to work. However, only 15 workers showed up yesterday. And two warehouse workers, who asked not to be quoted, said they would not cross the truck drivers' picket lines.
"We are anxious to get all of our operations up and running," said Roger D. Olson, Giant's vice president of labor relations. "We are focusing on the warehouse."
The bakery will be in full production today, Giant said, delivering all products to all 174 stores in the Baltimore-Washington area. Members of Bakers Union Local 118 returned to work last week.
And Olson said: "We are now receiving and delivering out of the warehouse," particularly items that wholesale distributors have done "a less than adequate job of supplying" during the strike.
John Steger, president of Teamsters Local 639, which is on strike, said there "was potential for a negotiating session" today or tomorrow. The Teamsters are demanding the company hire union drivers as it expands into more areas.
Pub Date: 1/14/97