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Schnucks' warehouse operator XPO laying off 204 in St. Louis County

Schnucks' warehouse operator XPO laying off 204 in St. Louis County

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XPO Logistics is laying off 204 employees in St. Louis County amid a dispute between the company and Schnuck Markets.

Maryland Heights-based Schnucks, which has 100 grocery stores in five states, hired Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO to staff the grocer’s 915,000-square-foot warehouse in Kinloch that opened in mid-2016.

Last month, XPO sued Schnucks for breach of contract, alleging Schnucks failed to pay it more than $1.3 million. XPO also alleged the Kinloch building’s opening was rushed and it was unable to properly perform its warehouse management services.

Schnucks has denied the allegations in XPO’s lawsuit and told the Post-Dispatch it terminated the contract with XPO because XPO failed to operate the warehouse properly under the terms of its contract.

In a letter to Missouri economic development officials notifying the state of looming layoffs, XPO said that as a result of the contract termination with Schnucks, it was laying off 119 full- and part-time employees at the Kinloch facility, 46 employees in Hazelwood and 39 employees in Vinita Park. All of the layoffs will be effective by April 20 or earlier, XPO’s letter states.

Schnucks’ decision last year to lay off 190 of its union employees and replace them with non-union workers employed by XPO, a third-party logistics provider, was met with opposition. The nearly 7,000 members of Teamsters Local 688, which represented the workers laid off last year, announced a boycott of Schnucks stores beginning in June.

Schnucks said it was in the process of hiring a replacement for XPO.

“Schnucks is now working to secure another logistics partner for an orderly and seamless transition and will do everything we can to ensure customers will not be impacted,” Schnucks spokesman Paul Simon said.

Lisa Brown • 314-340-8127

@lisabrownstl on Twitter

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