Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

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Alpha8472
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Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by Alpha8472 » October 13th, 2019, 4:06 am

I have noticed that grocery stores seem to be getting desperate these days. More and more employees quitting. It has gotten to the point that 14 year old kids are bagging groceries. Some of the employees are so short that they look even younger.

Hey kid, don't sit on the electric shopping cart. You might accidentally turn it on. Oh, you are an employee.

It is funny to see kids so young that they have to wait for mommy or daddy to pick them up from work.

I have also noticed some recently hired senior citizens bagging groceries. What has happened? They even have the employees who unload and restock the shelves working registers when there are no cashiers.

If you are under 18 can you even sell tobacco or alcohol? Also, are they not supposed to work past a certain hour on school nights?

How about everywhere else? There are 17 year old department managers at Walmart and 17 year old assistant managers at Kmart.

TW-Upstate NY
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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by TW-Upstate NY » October 13th, 2019, 12:53 pm

In regards to alcohol and tobacco sales, my experience in New York state has been when someone underage is working a register and a customer is purchasing alcohol, the checker always calls for a supervisor or manager (presumably 21 or over) who completes that part of the transaction by scanning that item. As far as tobacco, none of those products are at the registers and all checkers have to call for someone (again presumably of legal age to purchase such products) to retrieve them out of a locked case. The stores here (especially the chains) are VERY careful because the authorities carry out "sting" operations with great frequency.

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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by cw06 » October 25th, 2019, 10:17 am

Grocery stores can't compete on wages in a tight labor market. The recession is over, and working adults (myself included) are able to get better pay and work)life balance elsewhere. Grocery has such tight margins that they can't afford to raise wages. Decades of racing to the bottom is finally biting them in the rear.

There's a thread elsewhere on here about Harris Teeter rolling back 24 hour store hours, and I can tell you it's because they can't find any overnight cashiers. No one wants a $9/hr graveyard shift part time job. I quit my produce job 9 months ago, and my old store is STILL trying to fill it. Something is going to have to give: corporate is either going to have to tell investors to shove off and raise wages, or live with the lower quality that comes from staffing a store with part timers.

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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by storewanderer » October 25th, 2019, 11:53 pm

cw06 wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 10:17 am
Grocery stores can't compete on wages in a tight labor market. The recession is over, and working adults (myself included) are able to get better pay and work)life balance elsewhere. Grocery has such tight margins that they can't afford to raise wages. Decades of racing to the bottom is finally biting them in the rear.

There's a thread elsewhere on here about Harris Teeter rolling back 24 hour store hours, and I can tell you it's because they can't find any overnight cashiers. No one wants a $9/hr graveyard shift part time job. I quit my produce job 9 months ago, and my old store is STILL trying to fill it. Something is going to have to give: corporate is either going to have to tell investors to shove off and raise wages, or live with the lower quality that comes from staffing a store with part timers.
I think the industry is living with lower volume stores and the lower store quality that comes from staffing the stores with part timers and high turnover.

Where it starts to get bad is when you have Wal Mart paying better than grocers in a market on wages... seems like the grocers have back peddled while Wal Mart has somehow figured out how to up peddle.

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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by veteran+ » October 26th, 2019, 11:51 am

California employers have always used special school programs to employ minors. They get a tax break and good PR. They are also reduced hourly rates that are used to employ minors (usually).

Minors are prohibited to sell alcohol and cigarettes. They are also prohibited from using equipment like balers, pallet jacks, electric carts and any other machinery that could hurt them.

Seniors are also employed for tax breaks and good PR.

This has always been a standard practice at least in the States that I have worked in (Colorado, California, Florida, New York.)

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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by pseudo3d » October 27th, 2019, 4:55 pm

cw06 wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 10:17 am
Grocery stores can't compete on wages in a tight labor market. The recession is over, and working adults (myself included) are able to get better pay and work)life balance elsewhere. Grocery has such tight margins that they can't afford to raise wages. Decades of racing to the bottom is finally biting them in the rear.

There's a thread elsewhere on here about Harris Teeter rolling back 24 hour store hours, and I can tell you it's because they can't find any overnight cashiers. No one wants a $9/hr graveyard shift part time job. I quit my produce job 9 months ago, and my old store is STILL trying to fill it. Something is going to have to give: corporate is either going to have to tell investors to shove off and raise wages, or live with the lower quality that comes from staffing a store with part timers.
I don't think it's the lack of cashiers overnight, I worked night shift part time for less than $9 a few years ago at Kroger, and it's probably because most nights after 11 pm we'd have ZERO customers. Sometimes there would be someone wandering around at 1 in the morning or a few old folks that started appearing around 5 as the rest of the store began to come alive, but with no one in the store except the janitor, night stockers, and the in-store music bouncing off emptiness, it doesn't make financial sense to pay someone $70 to staff a checkout that no one uses except the night stockers on break.

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Re: Child Labor & Employee Shortages at Grocery Stores

Post by Bagels » December 12th, 2019, 5:55 am

I went to high school in an affluent community in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1990s. There were about 800 students in my graduating class, and around 3500 in total at the high school. Many employers hired 14-year-olds -- Farmer Jack, K-Mart, McDonald's, Little Caesars and similar local businesses were the most popular option. Many students got jobs during their freshman year; most were employed by their sophomore year. Like many states, we were restricted in the number of hours we could work (until we turned 18).

Teenagers began working less, as the economy nosedived and wages failed to keep up. I saw a survey that in 2014, less than 20% of graduating high school seniors at my former high school had entered the workforce. It was 85% for my graduating class. But when I was 16, I was making $7.50/hour bagging groceries. And 16 years later, Kroger's starting pay was... $7.50/hour. Many parents likely encouraged their kids to stay at home and be study.

Today, a high school student can earn $11-$13/hour at Target, Kroger, Walmart, McDonald's, etc. The strong growth in wages has likely enticed many teens to enter the workforce early, which is why once again we're seeing 14-year-olds go back to work. And with labor shortages, many employers are once again willing to endure the restrictions of hiring 14-year-olds. One thing I haven't seen, is 16-year-olds running cash registers like I did. We couldn't ring up alcohol or tobacco sales, so he had to call a manager....

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