by our local grocery workers’ union. The union was not asking for anything but not to have cuts to wages and benefits. They weren’t asking for raises, bonuses, benefits increases, more vacation, or golden cash registers – they were just trying to tread water like the rest of us. I emailed the corporate headquarters and told them that one of the reasons I shop there is because they are a union shop, and told them about all the positive experiences I’ve had with the employees at their grocery store. I pointed out what a value this is for the company. I said that I hoped they would negotiate reasonably with the union, and also that the union would also negotiate reasonably with them, to a positive resolution. They responded and explained their position. When I went to the business located next door to the strike one day, I let the workers know about my support, and also mentioned that I hoped their union was also being reasonable in negotiations. It sounded like they were. The union members explained their position to me, too. So I got to hear both sides, though I did support the union’s position. I don’t know any grocery workers riding around town in limos. I don’t think simply asking not to have cuts is unreasonable.
I don’t think people go out on strike frivolously. Going out on strike is a risk, you lose income when you’re on a strike, and who wants to be in a contentious situation with their employers? Most people work day-to-day with management and are on good terms.
Anyways, negotiations were resolved, everybody was happy, and the union members went back to work. They had big signs up on the front of the store thanking customers for supporting them – so that is nice that the management let them put up the thank you signs, too! 5 months ago
who works at Target. I asked her about the working conditions there, and she said it’s actually pretty good. She said it’s true that you don’t get a regular schedule until you’ve been there a while, but after you’ve been there, you can pick your schedule. That seems more fair.
Have to think on this more, though, because it does seem that many of their employees WANT a union. People don’t usually feel the need for a union unless they are not happy with something in the work conditions. So I don’t know, maybe it’s different for my cousin because she’s young and doesn’t have a family to care for and doesn’t have to worry so much about benefits at this point. Or maybe different locations treat their employees differently. I’m going to keep learning more about the whole thing. 13 months ago
Yep, you heard me. Only 1/5 of CostCo employees are union members. But CostCo pays their employees well, provides good benefits, and provides good work conditions – and they do it without the employees feeling the need to unionize to ensure that.
I don’t really care whether or not a business is union. What I care about is whether they have a business philosophy that emphasizes a reasonable balance between worker compensation/conditions and profits. CostCo does, so they have earned my business. And their business model has made them more profitable than competitors such as WalMart, not less!!
Jim Sinegal, the CEO of CostCo, sounds like a businessman with a good conscience and a good head on his shoulders, and he still earns a salary that is quite juicy without reaching the point of being obscene. Kudos to him!
Business Week Article
Addicted to CostCo article about the upcoming book _Malled, My Unintentional Career in Retail
Motley Fool blog post about Jim Sinegal, CEO of CostCo19 months ago
one of the checkers at my market today, about whether the Southern California grocery workers’ union strike would affect those up here. He said yes. I said I was thinking about writing the management of the market, to let them know their customers value workers and keep an eye on such things. He said, you know, that would probably be helpful.
Now to actually do it…! 20 months ago
about their union issues. Even though the union issues are with their landline company and I use their wireless service, I wanted to let them know that I wasn’t too happy about giving my business to a company where the head of the company makes over 300 times what a regular employee makes, but people who make the company successful on the ground, giving their best effort every day to make the company work, are being asked to give up more and more – and these are not people expecting millions of dollars, they are just trying to provide basic security for themselves and their families.
The representative told me that Verizon’s landline company and the wireless company are different. I said, don’t they have the same umbrella company? He said, Yes, that’s Vodafone. I said, well, then Vodafone is the one who I’m unhappy with, because they don’t structure their companies in a way that honors the contributions of the workers who keep their company running on a daily basis, they obviously only value the efforts and contributions of the people at the top who receive a compensation that is nothing but obscene.
The representative still insisted that they were different companies. If Vodafone oversees both, then I don’t understand how they are different… 21 months ago
So, walkin’ around with TripleB this evening, he decided he wanted to go to Target and see if they had an electronics part he needed.
Me: I’m boycotting them right now you know. Because of the whole union thing.
TripleB: OK, you don’t have to spend your money there. But if I find something I want that’s cheaper I’m buying it. You can spend more somewhere else.
Me: I’ll go in with you, but I’m NOT buying anything.
Me: And I’m going to make sure I look disgusted the whole time. No, indignant. No! Self-righteous!
Me: How’s this? (Walks through the doors making a face.) Do I look “self-righteously indignant?” Or more “indignantly disgusted?”
TripleB: You look like you have gas.
TripleB: Gasp! Look at that cute purse!
Me: STOP IT!
Me: Dang! There are some cute things here that are just what I’m looking for! (Sees a shirt) Look at that shirt! I’m going to look at it, just for curiosity, but not touch it.
(Stands a good three feet away and leans in for a closer look)
TripleB: (Teasing) You sure you don’t want to buy it? There’s the dressing room right over there.
Me: NO! (Storms away)
TripleB: Wrong way, electronics are over here…
Me: (Does an about face and storms towards electronics)
So I managed to get out of the store without buying anything, which, I’m tellin’ you, was difficult because, you know, Tarzhay Booteek has some pretty cute stuff sometimes.
It’s a rough life, being a political activist…
And for the record, TripleB did not find the part he was looking for at Target, so yippy-skippy!22 months ago
I like to shop at Target. However, until things clear up with what is going on with unionizing, I will be withholding my shopping dollars.
If Target employees really voted to not unionize, it would be a non-issue for me. I don’t think unionization should be forced on a body of employees. But there are enough questions about whether or not employees were intimidated into not voting to unionize that I am going to wait until things are settled. I read another report that said that Target management escorted employees to the voting location, and it sounds like they are possibly using intimidation factors to get them not to unionize. Possibly. But again, withholding judgment and dollars until I know for sure…! 23 months ago