When you driving down Route 35 north in Eatontown in front of the sparkling brand-new Lidl grocery store, you will probably notice a gigantic rat in front, the age-old symbol of a business not kowtowing to a unions demands.

The UFCW (United food and commercial workers union) is picketing outside whining about “poor wages and benefits” (AKA: the lack of a union presence) there.

I actually avoided their parking lot when I saw the picketers outside the other day because I wasn't in the mood for a possible confrontation. That’s happened to me in the past, and it’s annoying and uncomfortable. I went back today, however, because I realized that by avoiding the store I was doing exactly what the picketers wanted me to do.

The free market in this country should be exactly that — a free market. Where a business is free to do what it wants, how it wants to, and the market (in other words, the consumers) will decide if they want to shop there based on either price, selection, convenience-or even ideology -— if that’s important to them. Strong-arming a business into caving into your union's demands is sickening.

The thing about Lidl is that it’s not an American company. It is a strong, successful European company whose roots are in Germany and who already is enjoying major success all over Europe. They’re not going to be intimidated. And, So far, there are no signs that they will capitulate to the terroristic demands of the UFCW or anyone else for that matter.

Show Lidle that you embrace the free market and that you are grateful for the many, many jobs they have provided for New Jerseyans by shopping there often. And show the union bullies you won’t be intimidated. Stay strong, Lidl. If Walmart can reject union strong-arming (and it has), so can you.

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