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California grocery strike

Discussion in 'The OT' started by John Corn, Oct 12, 2003.

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  1. John Corn

    John Corn Hall Of Fame

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    Quickly! Stock up on tofu! :D

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/West/10/12/calif.grocery.strike/

    This seems to have a lot to do with healthcare, as I suspect many future labor disagreements will. Healthcare costs continue to rise and both employer and employee are going to want more of the burden shifted to each other.

     
  2. SamC

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    The simple reality is that the marketplace is speaking. Wal-Mart, union-free and proud of it, can provide better prices. $37K/year for what is essentually unskilled/semi-skilled labor? With "gold card" health care?

    These people need a dose of reality. They may just strike themselves out of a job. Then they will find that there are prescious few $37/year jobs out there for people that do a job where the training period is measured in minutes.
     
  3. Bogy

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    I don't see $37,000 noted anywhere in the story. I do see that very few of the cashiers are full time. I would hazard a well founded guess that very few grocery workers approach the $34,000 amount. My daughter worked for a time as a cashier in a supermarket in St. Louis (where the grocery worker union is also on strike) and while she worked all the hours the manager would give her, never came close to that kind of money. Perhaps Sam, you need a dose of reality to recognize the difference between part time jobs and full time jobs, and the methods used by employers to keep their employees at that part time, no/limited benefits status.
     
  4. John Corn

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    A difficult job for sure. Much like a dentist they stand on their feet all day and constantly deal with less than happy people.
     
  5. juan ellitinez

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    Are you saying people with unskilled labor jobs should be forced to live in poverty..while supermarket owners live in luxury? :eek2: :eek2:
     
  6. Bogy

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    If Sam thinks being a cashier is an "unskilled" job, he has never been one. He has no understanding of the knowledge a cashier needs to do an efficient job. After 2 or 3 years my daughter can walk through a produce department and still rattle off the codes for numerous fruits and vegetables. You don't learn those in a "matter of minutes". Heaven forbid that the person who stands there all day checking out your groceries, dealing with condescending/angry people like Sam make more than minimum wage. After all, that might make Sam's groceries cost a half a buck more.
     
  7. juan ellitinez

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    actually the prices in non- union stores are about the same...supermarkets will gouge(i mean charge) as much as the competion will allow
     
  8. Bogy

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    I agree. What you really pay for is more service. The warehouse type stores with limited selections are less expensive. They also provide less service and choice. Some people are happy to make that tradeoff. Other shoppers would rather have the expanded choice and increased service. This is America. Shoppers have the right to shop in the type of store they want. If store owners don't want to own a store with union employees, no one is forcing them too. They can close up any time they want. No one is forcing them to sell groceries. But workers also have rights, and they have the right to make just as much as they can, just like owners and stockholders.
     
  9. juan ellitinez

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    The sad truth about grocery stores is that only the"lifers" make good wages..and get the good benefits. the majority of workers are students who will probably head off to college or a "real" job before the benefits kick in(not that there is anything wrong with working in a supermarket) Does anybody know what the owner's are trying to take away fromthe union?
     
  10. SamC

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    Kroger (which owns Ralph's) workers in my are are going on strike today at midnight. Kroger's final offer here (I assume that California is about the same, only starting with a higher offer) is a raise of $1.50 an hour, a one-time cash payment of $4000, and a cut in their health plan for gold to slightly less than gold. Better than the one I have. Not that I am complaining, I make what I make and get the benefits that I get because that is my place in the market. I don't compare my wages to what some risk-taking owner of a business make, he deserves it. Doesn't apply to Kroger any way, because it is a stock company, with hundreds of thousands of little owners.

    Its easy to have a knee-jerk reaction, the reality is that at $37k or $34K a year these companies can't compete with Wal-Mart, et al, which pay their workers what they are worth.

    As to the skill level, the US DOL has a web site with job descriptions. Semi-skilled.

    The reality is that this is a rediculious wage for this job, and if the next Bill Gates invents the perfect grocery distribution machine tommorrow, 99.9% of these people will not ever find work at 1/2 of that, because they have nothing to offer the marketplace.
     
  11. juan ellitinez

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    EXCUSE ME you have never worked in a supermarket i assume..The people that make 34-37 grand are not cashiers...they are department managers(grocery deli etc) that are resopnsible for keeping the store running.. THEY WORK THIER BUTTS OFF!!!! THER ARE VERY VERY VERY FEW FULLTIMERS IN ANY SUPERMARKET!!! THEY DESERVE EVERY PENNY THEY CAN GET!!!! working in a supermarket is no diffrent than working in a factory A FULLTIME JOB SHOULD RECEIVE FULLTIME BENEFITS WITH A LIVING WAGE...
     
  12. Bogy

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    If the companies pay it, it must be what the employees are worth. If they don't want to pay it, they should sell out to someone who realizes that retaining trained, experienced, happy workers makes for a more productive workplace. Nobody is forcing them to be in the grocery business. Let them go over to some third world country where it is legal to pay your workers virtually nothing and sell groceries or whatever there. This is America, where workers are free to earn what they can negotiate.
     
  13. RichW

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    The reason health care costs are rising (way faster than any other segment of the economy) is because fewer people, percentage wise, are covered by health insurance. This shifts the burden of hospital and medical costs to those people who have insurance or can otherwise pay. In Oregon, about 22 cents out of every dollar spent on healthcare goes to pay for those expenses that uninsured or under-insured patients can't pay.
     
  14. waydwolf

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    As much as I'm sure you love your daughter, and I don't mean to attack you here, but it IS unskilled. I held MULTIPLE cashier jobs when I was younger and it IS unskilled labor. Cable and DBS technicians are OFTEN paid as much as or less than cashiers and we are SKILLED TECHNICAL labor. There are line techs who work fiber every day and make less than $15 per hour while installers often make $10.

    You can't argue effectively with it. Register training for the reasonably proficient is measured in hours, not days. And I was doing it with twelve digit SKUs LONG before laser scanners. These days, the local markets can't even get the teens working there to do there job properly enough to do it in a reasonable amount of time with all the modern technology they use themselves every day and self-checkout is a dozen times faster.

    If your daughter is good at it, good for her. But it isn't a job that deserves anything like $35K unless you're assigning them the glory of carrying the chain on their overburdened shoulders while the stockholders make so many millions. I recommend instead teaching your family prudence and thift, saving to invest, and becoming stockholders, rather than trying to convince people that cashier is a skilled position. It isn't and never has been. And the way the country is going, it is becoming less so every year.
     
  15. waydwolf

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    For the vast majority, grocery and other jobs are MEANT to be entry level. A place where you learn civilian society's equivalent of what military boot camp teaches: rules, forms, organization, orders, work, duty, and all the little ephemeral things so many take for granted every day.

    Problem is, we're now creating generation after generation of underachievers who never aspire to more, merely p*ss and moan and dream without every trying, and they spend years and decades in jobs they themselves sentence themselves to. Because they work hard but not smart or they more often work only as hard as necessary and definitely not remotely smart.

    You need not go to college to do more with your life than the grocery store. You merely have to make a choice to do more and follow through. Whining about unfairness and low wages and whatnot isn't going to help. It is insane that we're looking to pay a traditional opening job more than many skilled technical people are currently making. For crying out loud there are twenty-five year veteran machinists making $13.90/hour in CT and they're making the parts for the cars you drive, the planes you fly on, the things you take for granted every day and some of them have degrees.

    Excuse me all the heck if I am not too sympathetic to grocery workers. Retail schlepping is not meant to be a living wage thing. It's meant to be where you learn how to do what you're supposed to do and how to be reliable and what work is about. You're supposed to attempt to achieve and move beyond. Sadly, too many don't and it is now figured to be a permanent career on par with teachers and doctors.
     
  16. juan ellitinez

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    its not just the cashiers that are on strike. besides there aren't very many(if any at all) grocery stores that hire full time cashiers..your average union cashier makes about 8 bucks an hour and is part time doesn't receive any benefits till they spend at least 2 years on the job..the employees that make the "big bucks" are usually department managers,meat cutters,nite crew clerks etc the low paid part timers(5 -10 bucks anhour) out number the"high paid full timers about 5 to 1..
     
  17. Charles Oliva

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    Waywolf, I think your mentality is way out of line. If a person desides to make a career choice by entering the retail enviroment, and can become both finacially and personally rewarded by it, that's his choice and demeaning his job you perceive a "non-skilled" job is not accurate. By the way, do you grow your own crops, bake your own bread, raise cattle for dairy and meat, etc.. Probably not, thus no grocery store, no food. Kind of means you depend on some grocery shlep for you existance, doesn't it.

    BTW, just to add to S. Cullifonyah's misery, there's now a transit strike in Los Angeles:
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031014/us_nm/transport_strike_dc
     
  18. RichW

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    "It is insane that we're looking to pay a traditional opening job more than many skilled technical people are currently making. "

    Pay has never been 100% based upon the skill required. It is based upon the market value. The reason that machinists are no longer paid handsomely as they once were is because they have to compete in a world market. The supermarket, on the other hand, is a local market. If the workers have enough sense to unionize and bargain collectively, then management either has to negotiate or go to non-union employees. In almost every case where a major chain has hired non-union folks, they end up firing them once they come to terms with the union. So in effect, the non-union people becomes pawns in a negotiating game. Similarly, the unions generally strike during the busiest and most profitable time of the year - between Holloween and New Year's Day.

    It is called maximizing your financial opportunity... one of the bases of capitalism.
     
  19. Bogy

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    Waydwolf, instead of whining about what others make, why don't you quit schlepping those ladders around and get yourself one of those highpaying jobs in the grocery field. I can't believe you ever left the field since every beginning grocery clerk is bringing home $35,000 a year, not to mention full benefits. Sarcasm over. It has already been mentioned here, but you anti union anti worker guys just cannot connect with the fact that this is not an entry level wage, for part time workers. The article stated that 80% of workers are part time, so they aren't making that rate, and most of them get little in the way of benefits. Of the remaining 20%, the top pay mentioned is just that, the top pay possible. That means that a fraction of full time workers are earning that top wage. If you really think every clerk is earning that level of pay, you just aren't thinking. You are letting your jealousy get the best of you.
     
  20. Timco

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    I don't understand all the fuss. They are just trying to get what they can from corporate America. Good for them. The world is not going to end if they get the concessions they are looking for.
    Let's talk about people who really don't deserve the money they get. Sports atheletes, entertainers, talk radio hosts and.....

    MINISTERS!
    They only work one day a week and they get tax breaks! Talk about a cush job. ;) :lol:
     
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