The United Food & Commercial Workers Union is taking credit for anonymous fliers distributed to neighbors of a proposed Scottsdale Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, urging opposition to the store’s liquor license application.
It’s not the first time the nonunion grocery chain, which opened its first seven locations in the Valley in the last month, has faced such challenges, said company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott.
The Scottsdale City Council is slated to vote today on whether to recommend that state officials grant the proposed 14,400-square-foot store near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard a series 10 liquor license, which allows the sale of unopened bottles of liquor for home consumption.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of it at this particular location,” Wonnacott said of the proposed store at 7129 E. Shea Blvd. “Our stores have been well-received throughout the Phoenix area.”
Among other allegations, the union’s Web site takes aim at Tesco, comparing it to nonunion Wal-Mart, with which some unions have a long-running antagonism.
“Do we really need another business that sells wine & beer in our neighborhood, near our schools & churches?” the flier states. “This is not the kind of retail development our neighborhood needs.”
Katy Giglio, spokeswoman for the Phoenix-based United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 99, confirmed that the union had circulated the fliers.
“What their track record is ... isn’t as fresh and easy on the neighborhood as they might want people to believe,” said union spokesman Bob Grossfeld. “The effort was really to get people to be aware.”
Despite the union opposition, Scottsdale officials are recommending that the City Council endorse the store’s liquor license application.
If the council takes action today, its recommendation will be forwarded to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, which oversees the issuance of liquor licenses.
The market’s application meets all of the city’s criteria for a positive recommendation, according to a report by city staff. The store is expected to be open by August. The site was formerly occupied by a Wild Oats Market, which also had a series 10 liquor license.
The proposed store would be the chain’s second Scottsdale location. The first is at Frank Lloyd Wright and Shea boulevards.