STOCKTON, Calif. -- A battle between Teamsters Local 601 here and Diamond Walnut Growers is moving into the supermarket as union members call for a boycott of Diamond's biggest customer, Entenmann's, a baked-goods supplier.
Ron Carver, director of the office of strategic campaigns for the Teamsters, said as of last week more than 500,000 fliers calling for the boycott were distributed nationwide.
The four-color flier, designed to look like a supermarket tabloid, is titled "The Supermarket Blues." It includes a headline that reads, "Entenmann's Bakes With Tons of Scab-Processed Walnuts."
The Teamsters' dispute with the walnut company dates to 1991 when Diamond workers went on strike rather than agree to a proposed contract. They were immediately replaced.
Entenmann's has been the target of a series of recent Teamsters actions, including demonstrations at its facilities in Miami and Los Angeles.
An Entenmann's spokeswoman said the union's actions will not influence the company's buying habits.
"Our position is that this is not our issue," said Nancy Redmond, corporate affairs director for Kraft General Foods USA, Entenmann's parent company, based in Northfield, Ill.
Redmond said the dispute is an issue between the Teamsters and Diamond.
"Kraft General Foods has thousands of suppliers for its products and we could not immerse ourselves in the business of all of them even if we wanted to," she said. "It's not appropriate for us to become involved in our suppliers' businesses any more than we would expect them to be involved in our issues."