Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

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SamSpade
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Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by SamSpade » July 8th, 2019, 1:03 pm

The "big 3" of the region are now the big 2 for the past several years.
Kroger (dba Fred Meyer, QFC)
Albertsons Companies (dba Albertsons, Safeway)

Other union stores that must accept what is negotiated:
Bales Marketplaces
Oregon Thriftway locations
Rosauers (Hood River)

Portland area grocery store workers vote to authorize strike

Other grocers in the area are non-union:
WinCo Foods (although they have an employee-employer bargaining contract)
Grocery Outlet franchises
New Seasons Markets (although there was a push that died off)
Market of Choice
Green Zebra Markets
Trader Joe's
Walmart & associated grocery-only markets

It was disappointing to read (if accurate) that Kroger is paying female employees less than their male counterparts.

Edit: Added Trader Joe's to list of non-unionized grocers.
Last edited by SamSpade on July 10th, 2019, 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by klkla » July 8th, 2019, 4:53 pm

SamSpade wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 1:03 pm
It was disappointing to read (if accurate) that Kroger is paying female employees less than their male counterparts.[/color][/font]
I think the pay rates are the same in each classification regardless of sex. But there are lower paid classifications in Service Deli, Bakery and stockers in HABA/GM categories. These departments have historically been staffed by more female workers which results in the average wage for women being less than men.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by storewanderer » July 8th, 2019, 10:21 pm

We could dig into the question as to why the positions with the lower pay classifications have historically been staffed by more female workers...

But this is a classic example of the media's false reporting and fake news that it continually spreads. It doesn't help with certain political figures bait the media and then the media baits the certain political figures back and both sides continue this game. It would be nice if someone would take the high road but instead it seems to be a round of who can shovel the deepest hole. Oh well.

They make a statement that says Kroger is paying female employees less than male counterparts. They fail to mention why. They make it sound like Kroger is blatantly paying a female cashier $12/hr and a male cashier $14/hr to hold the same exact job description with the same exact seniority. But that is not the reason for the pay difference at all. I consider that to be false reporting and fake news. And why only Kroger is targeted in this statement?

In fact, the union arrangement where pay is based on a nice big graph where they have the one column for position and the rows for time served based upon hours worked is designed explicitly to protect against a situation like what is described where favoritism and other subjective matters such as "job performance" are used to justify why two people with are paid different amounts for the same job. In theory I prefer a situation where pay is based on job performance. But when it is subjective judgment of job performance is where it gets a bit murky. Or worse when it is just job performance being assessed but still raises not being given out at top level for someone who "exceeds expectations." I learned quickly at 17 years old working in retail in a non-union environment that job performance meant little unless you were trying to get promoted; the 5% raise was not given out because the DM did not want it being given out (maybe some favorites got it) and just about everyone got a 2-3% raise and that was just how it went, job performance did not mean much.

To me the real story here is UFCW has authorized a strike in a vote in SoCal and it looks like OR/WA are going down the same path. What is going wrong that these two sides cannot negotiate? The news media needs to do actual reporting and talk about what the root cause of the issue is and why it has come to this. Instead all they can do is some misleading fake news about male and female pay rates at one specific chain in one specific region. This is a lot of large regions to be having this type of challenge between UFCW and the grocers and a lot is at stake here. Non union grocers are opening stores at a much faster clip in these regions than union grocers which continue to lose relevance.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by CPhT_Smith » July 8th, 2019, 11:42 pm

The media should point out in the reports that while female employees may make less. They make the same as male employees at the same job classifications and roles. For example yes it’s true men end up in higher paying jobs and departments such as meat, grocery, and produce. As to if there should be a wage gap between departments in a retail store is debatable. For example a non-foods or HBA Clerk or stocker has the same responsibilities and roles as a grocery or produce counterpart. Imo, and if the Union and management where able to get things on the right track at most stores there would be a single payscale for equivalent roles for all departments, with the exception of the few that require the employee to have additional education and licensing; such as certified pharmacy technicians or meatcutters. So basically the front-end manager, grocery manager, deli manager, produce manager, non-foods manager all have an equivalent role and should be paid the same. Along with the same employees that work under them based on their position, skill sets and seniority. Then you’d eliminate the problem or underpaid bakery and deli employees; who the grocery employees would admit couldn’t do that job, and the over paid overnight freight clerk that makes more than a service deli manager.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by BillyGr » July 9th, 2019, 8:21 am

CPhT_Smith wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 11:42 pm
As to if there should be a wage gap between departments in a retail store is debatable. For example a non-foods or HBA Clerk or stocker has the same responsibilities and roles as a grocery or produce counterpart.
The one difference might be that most non-foods items aren't going to be as time sensitive (thus just stocking, not having to also keep track of what is close to its use/sell by dates).

On that same thought, though, it would make HBA just as important (maybe more) if they are also stocking the non prescription medicines, as those could be not only date sensitive, but more likely to cause an issue if someone buys and consumes them beyond their date (since the medicine itself isn't as likely to be obviously bad to a customer as a bulging can, sour milk or rotting veggies are).

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by babs » July 9th, 2019, 8:23 am

SamSpade wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 1:03 pm
The "big 3" of the region are now the big 2 for the past several years.
Kroger (dba Fred Meyer, QFC)
Albertsons Companies (dba Albertsons, Safeway)

Other union stores that must accept what is negotiated:
Bales Marketplaces
Oregon Thriftway locations
Rosauers (Hood River)

Portland area grocery store workers vote to authorize strike

Other grocers in the area are non-union:
WinCo Foods (although they have an employee-employer bargaining contract)
Grocery Outlet franchises
New Seasons Markets (although there was a push that died off)
Market of Choice
Green Zebra Markets
Walmart & associated grocery-only markets

It was disappointing to read (if accurate) that Kroger is paying female employees less than their male counterparts.
Add Costco to the list of non-union grocers.

Has anyone see a recent list of market share in the Portland market? I suspect Kroger and Albertson stores going on strike no longer has the impact that it would had in years past. Hopefully both labor and management realize that before they go too far down the road towards a strike.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by storewanderer » July 9th, 2019, 9:03 pm

BillyGr wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 8:21 am
CPhT_Smith wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 11:42 pm
As to if there should be a wage gap between departments in a retail store is debatable. For example a non-foods or HBA Clerk or stocker has the same responsibilities and roles as a grocery or produce counterpart.
The one difference might be that most non-foods items aren't going to be as time sensitive (thus just stocking, not having to also keep track of what is close to its use/sell by dates).

On that same thought, though, it would make HBA just as important (maybe more) if they are also stocking the non prescription medicines, as those could be not only date sensitive, but more likely to cause an issue if someone buys and consumes them beyond their date (since the medicine itself isn't as likely to be obviously bad to a customer as a bulging can, sour milk or rotting veggies are).
There are radically different efficiency requirements for a night grocery freight stocker vs. a non-foods clerk. The night grocery freight stocker has to work quick and work hard with a lot of heavy lifting. It is a very physical job and not easy. The non-foods clerk has a much slower paced, light duty type of job. They have to work more slowly and carefully to get items in the right place, rotate, etc. If you look at the $ of product being stocked, that night freight grocery stocker is stocking a significantly higher $ of products in a shift than a non-foods clerk. Who stocks the most actual margin is more debatable. I would not consider those two positions to be equivalent. One is a more physical job, the other requires more attention to detail. Which job deserves higher pay is again up for debate.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by storewanderer » July 9th, 2019, 9:05 pm

babs wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 8:23 am
Add Costco to the list of non-union grocers.

Has anyone see a recent list of market share in the Portland market? I suspect Kroger and Albertson stores going on strike no longer has the impact that it would had in years past. Hopefully both labor and management realize that before they go too far down the road towards a strike.
[/quote]

Yes, let's hope these folks do not opt to strike. The only parties that will gain anything in a strike are the non-union competitors. And it will kill the click and collect, Instacart, etc. type services that are fulfilling from these union grocers when they can't get product. Once those customers are gone to one of many non-union competitors, they will not be back. Also in this labor market I am not sure how easy it will be to find replacement workers should the employees go on strike. Sure they can pull from other regions but generally speaking most of the retail industry is pretty understaffed these days...

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by klkla » July 10th, 2019, 8:21 am

babs wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 8:23 am
Add Costco to the list of non-union grocers.
It depends on where you live. Costco employees in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia are unionized. That's 16% of their workforce.

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Re: Oregon and SW Washington UFCW Union May Strike

Post by babs » July 10th, 2019, 8:31 am

klkla wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 8:21 am
babs wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 8:23 am
Add Costco to the list of non-union grocers.
It depends on where you live. Costco employees in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia are unionized. That's 16% of their workforce.
Any idea if pay, benefits, or working conditions are any better in those unionized states?

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