Home > Eureka California, Labor, Safeway > Safeway angers local labor

Safeway angers local labor

[Featured comment by Sid Berg]

Safeway is not much better than Walmart when it comes to local construction jobs. All contact with Safeway management prior to and during construction of their new Harris Street store remains unanswered.

Their uncaring and unresponsive nature to this community has resulted in the following handbill to inform the public, should they care.
—————————————————–
Safeway Inc. is No Friend of Local Construction Workers!

  • Safeway, INC. has hired Reeve-Knight Construction Inc. from Roseville, California, to build their new Harris street store.
  • Reeve-Knight believes local sub-contractors and workers cost too much, and are importing a work force to undercut area standard wages and benefits.
  • Prices are generally higher here due to high transportation costs which reflect the price of our food and other supplies. Safeway wants us to buy their groceries yet they do little for our economy by NOT utilizing qualified local construction workers, who are struggling to put FOOD on their tables!

Please voice your comments to Christiane (Safeway Investor Relations) at: christiane.pelz@safeway.com or phone 925-467-3832 or Teena, Public Relations Director at: teena.massingill@safeway.com or (925) 467-3810

Please patronize OTHER area grocery stores until SAFEWAY demonstrates that they care about OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY!

Thank you,

The UNITED ASSOCIATION of PLUMBERS, & STEAMFITTERS Local No. 290

The Union is not asking any individual to cease performing any services, or to refuse to pick up, deliver or transport any goods.

  1. Jon Brooks
    July 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    My grandfather was a member, as are my cousins in the Bay Area. I support the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290, and encourage others to do so as well. Please let Safeway know.

    And, lets support our other local workers as well with decent jobs that provide a decent living.

  2. local 5
    July 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Please do not boycott or agonize Safeway employees on the local level. They are your union brothers and sisters and have nothing to do with this fiasco. By avoiding Safeway you are denying them their right to a living wage.

  3. Anonymous
    July 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Safeway participates in eScrip, and thus has the support of a vast number of parents whose kids attend local schools. If you want to hurt Safeway, convince Ray’s Food Place, WinCo and Murphy’s Market to participate in eScrip.

    When you register your credit card with eScrip.com, and later use your card at an eScrip-participating merchant, a percentage of the sale automatically goes to your charity of choice. This is the store’s profit being donated to charity — no loss to the consumer. Safeway donates something like 5% to up to 3 charities you’ve specified when you signed up at eScrip.com. Safeway even has a back-to-school promo where 10% is donated. A local school can earn $10,000 by having parents do nothing except buy their usual groceries. And at Safeway, parents use their member cards to mark the donation — no credit card needed.

    Get the other grocery stores on board with some minimal eScip donation to local schools and you’ll see Safeway lose customers.

  4. grackle
    July 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I saw a union rep. on TV make this same argument. It leaves me a bit confused. I’ve been a licensed California contractor for 35 years. To my knowledge most projects of this sort are bid out competitively. How can it be that “it costs” a local contractor, where the prevailing wage is lower than in the urban areas of the state, more to work locally than it does a contractor who has to drive here, spend money for motels, bring or buy materials, etc.? (which by the way supports other parts of the local economy)

    Is this a union/ non-union fight? Or is it a matter of a contractor working with subs he is comfortable with, doing work that they do together on Safeway stores all over the place? Or is a matter only of the plumber’s union finding out too late what the market will bear? Did they ever have a chance to participate or did the local contractors who bid on the plumbing bid too high? This doesn’t seem to be the whole story. Details, please.

  5. Not A Native
    July 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Is this the same local that endorsed Richard Marks, Virginia Bass, and likely Rex Bohn? And are they against railbanking and in favor of the Marina Center? The little I’ve heard about this local tells me they go for their short end money and aren’t concerned if that gets this area a one way ticket to Palookaville.

  6. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 1:56 am

    This is fishy. I think before anyone acts on this they need to know the facts. The bid was done a long time ago. I trust locals but not unions, to tell the whole truth. They act in favor of unions, with the idea of supporting their workers, but always in the favor of the union, not the local economy or the big picture of those involved or the project. Safeway has been good to our community. Please don’t accept the bullying of this union whose responsibility is to the health of the union first.

  7. SNaFU
    July 19, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Unions don’t care about the guy on the end of a shovel, only his dues. My last “union” job was in 1969 when my local Teamsters (Eureka) endorsed Richard Nixon (D) without taking a survey of any of its “brothers”.
    No different than today.
    How’s that “Hope & Change” and the “fundamentally transformation of America” working?

  8. July 19, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Well, at least we will have a decent grocery store opening up around here that doesn’t charge 50% above manufactures suggested retail price…

  9. July 19, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Yeah right, let’s attack anything that even remotely benefits a working person.
    Not so sure about the “Localism” in play. Welcome to the new millennium.
    Workers in Roseville don’t count?

  10. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

    P.S. Jon Brooks certainly would never not be for unions….since unions ONLY raise societal valuated costs and Mr. Brooks is a valuation adjusting county appraiser/assessor. Folks know about government agency scams which force higher costs so that consumer prices and its associated tax bases created and collected by other government agencies or departments are higher…..

    and then the housing market collapse……..

    so specifically and honestly, which government state agency or local municipal/county department barked first about super-inflation within real-estate and personal property because one fact is for sure, if ya lined-up all government agencies, they would be contradictory when assessing which agency barked first.

    Finally, we all should know which state agencies or municipal/county departments here locally NEVER BARKED = ASSESSOR. Simply waiting for the ptsd to occur and then start talking “as government employees” is the classic cover-over after-the-fact, not before-the-fact….

    ….see what government greed is?

    Government greed is very quiet when need be to sucker in a bunch of fish to hook, line and sink!

    Here is another scam for popularity using other peoples wealth…e-script…..

    Anonymous says:
    July 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm
    Safeway participates in eScrip, and thus has the support of a vast number of parents whose kids attend local schools. If you want to hurt Safeway, convince Ray’s Food Place, WinCo and Murphy’s Market to participate in eScrip.

    When you register your credit card with eScrip.com, and later use your card at an eScrip-participating merchant, a percentage of the sale automatically goes to your charity of choice. This is the store’s profit being donated to charity — no loss to the consumer. Safeway donates something like 5% to up to 3 charities you’ve specified when you signed up at eScrip.com. Safeway even has a back-to-school promo where 10% is donated. A local school can earn $10,000 by having parents do nothing except buy their usual groceries. And at Safeway, parents use their member cards to mark the donation — no credit card needed.

    Get the other grocery stores on board with some minimal eScip donation to local schools and you’ll see Safeway lose customers.

    Response: The store charges higher costs upon the consumer which equates to more profit instead of higher wages for its employees…..to only come back for a feel good scheme to say oh, as a customer, you are forced to donate or must “give-up” more profit to the business……this is government scamming as a co-conspirator…….for tax purposes and profits no doubt through price fixings based off of government subsidies and IRS tax trickeries.

  11. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Even if your arguments have merit, Jeffrey, your disorganized presentation undercuts their force. Write first, then read what you have written, then edit for clarity – for the sake of your readers. Then post your thoughts. Follow that advice and you will be a much more effective communicator.

  12. High Finance
    July 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

    It sounds a little strange that Safeway would find out of the area contractors cheaper than local ones. Not a very good PR move on the part of Safeway.

    But, it is reasonable to think that because Safeway builds lots of new stores that they have specific contractors who are experienced in the way Safeway wants everything done and in who Safeway trusts to do the job. These contractors have worked on a lot of their stores.

  13. Jon Brooks
    July 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Look, this is just the most recent in a series of big jobs that go predominantly to outside contractors who use outside crews, like those new student apartments at HSU. Even in my business I’m getting more and more competition coming in from outside and bidding ridiculously low. Supporting local union workers is a small effort, one I gladly do.

  14. July 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

    they have specific contractors who are experienced in the way Safeway wants everything done and in who Safeway trusts to do the job..

    I kinda wonder about that. I’ll admit to not paying all that much attention to the work there, but it seemed to me they started up, then stopped, then took out all the beginning construction and started over again. I wonder if somebody made a big mistake, or I was just seeing it wrong?

    Anybody else notice that?

  15. Fact Checker
    July 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Anonymous says:
    July 19, 2011 at 8:27 am
    P.S. Jon Brooks certainly would never not be for unions….since unions ONLY raise societal valuated costs and Mr. Brooks is a valuation adjusting county appraiser/assessor…”

    Wrong. Jon Brooks is a self employed real estate appraiser. Jon has never been employed by the Assessors Office. Never.

  16. Fact Checker
    July 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

    High Finance 9:10 am

    Quit apologizing for union busting Safeway. Local contractors could easily build a Safeway exactly to their specs. Always looking for a reason why out of town is better, aren’tcha No Class ‘ol Boy?
    .

  17. July 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Since the thread got moved I repeat the question,

    Hello Sid Berg,

    Do you and your union support the idea of raising the minimum wage in Humboldt County since as you state “prices are higher here?”

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  18. grackle
    July 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

    re: Fred. They did preliminary work which they buried to protect and then had to wait until the medical offices on the corner where the tilt-up building now is were vacated before they could remove them to start the main project – (via a Safeway checker).

    re: Fact Checker. Safeway employees are unionized. Do you actually know that all of the contractors on the building are not?
    This is not the first Safeway the contractor has built. No doubt local contractors coould have built a Safeway; perhaps their bids were too high, or they didn’t bid? The Union complaint seems to imply that high bids should have won the job. My sense is that the time to complain was probably a year or two ago and this brouhaha is just sour grapes over a lost bid.

  19. Jeff
    July 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    It’s not that out of town is better. It is that out of town is cheaper. The recession is hitting everyone and bottom lines are tight. Safewary, like those of us who shop at Winco, is trying to save money any way it can. When I go to Winco, I do so to save approximately 20% on my groceries. That is my only concern. Safeway, when they go with the Roseville firm, is only thinking about how much money they will save by not hiring our local construction workers. Why doesn’t the local union lowers its wages so that it can out compete the workers from Roseville and receive the subcontracts?

  20. Julie Timmons
    July 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I have found that my grocery expenditures have gone DOWN in the recent weeks when I have been avoiding Safeway. Support your local workers; they are your friends and neighbors.

  21. Auntie Arkley
    July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Anonymous and eScrip: You suggest we support a store that obviously doesn’t care about the local economy except to bleed it dry and charge us extremely high prices, simply because they “trickle down” upon us a very, very, small amount of their vast profits? What a dupe! You’re just the kind of brain-dead person the right-wing loves.

  22. Fact Checker
    July 19, 2011 at 11:12 am

    grackle 10:32 Safeway has a long history of anti-union activity. From their semi-sucessful pinch on the trucking union in the early 90s to their current union agreement. Stock Clerks start at $7.46 at some stores, cashiers at $7.56 and pharmacy techs at $8.67. Not a living wage store nor union friendly. And yes, little or no union workers out there on the Harris Street site.

    http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Safeway,_Inc./Hourly_Rate

  23. The Big Picture
    July 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

    “Safeway has been good to our community.” (Anonymous says:
    July 19, 2011 at 1:56 am).

    No, they have not.

    Henderson Center has needed a grocery store for many years. They own the Rite Aid building and the lease requires that NO GROCERY STORE is allowed.

    When I called the county to inquire about Safeway’s new traffic signal…guess who had to pay the $200k? Safeway’s share was $6k!

    Where’s all those Reich-Winger, anti-welfare, Taxpayer League hypocrites? Where’s the media?

    They could care less about corporate welfare or families buried in the grips of a Depression having to suffer from….and then subsidize….Safeway’s gambit to capture more of the market.

    The existing store was perfectly adequate…now, this over-congested area is about to become even more dangerous for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

  24. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

    What a dupe! You’re just the kind of brain-dead person the right-wing loves.

    No Auntie, you are the subject of a colossal failure of reading comprehension. I explained the economic incentive that keeps thousands of Humboldt County residents — left, right and middle — shopping at Safeway (not just parents with kids in our schools, but people supporting any number of local nonprofits). I then told you how to make these consumers reconsider giving their money to Safeway, in favor of Ray’s, Murphy’s and WinCo (or for that matter, any grocery store or retail store could embrace eScrip). This advice is the exact opposite of suggesting “we support a store that obviously doesn’t care about the local economy.”

    Not only did I give you the knowledge to financially hurt Safeway, but boy oh boy, you claim Safeway doesn’t care about the local economy when it’s giving tens of thousands of dollars to Humboldt County nonprofits every single year without any fanfare whatsoever. In every way possible, you don’t understand.

  25. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

    On the other hand, Safeway employs our union member brothers and sisters year after year and pays pretty good wages. If memory serves, at least some of the construction unions endorsed Measure N for their short term gain without concern for the permanent living wage jobs which will be lost with more big boxes or increased money flowing out of the county rather than circulating within, improving the local economy. Solidarity isn’t always personally profitable in the short term, but the payoffs long term are priceless. I’ll make some calls to Safeway but I doubt at this late date they can get out of their contract even if they wanted to.

  26. High Finance
    July 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

    “Fact”Checker didn’t.

    He has no idea if the out of town contractors & subs are unionized or not. As PJ pointed out, Safeway’s workers are unionized.

    You can’t blame a private sector company from wanting to save money.

  27. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

    For some perspective, Safeway donates to 31 nonprofits in Eureka, 23 in Arcata, 14 in McKinleyville, 12 in Fortuna, 9 in Ferndale, 4 in Hoopa, 2 in Blue Lake, 2 in Cutten, 2 in Garberville, 2 in Redway, 2 in Willow Creek and 1 in Orick. Yeah, you don’t even need a Safeway in your town. Distant relatives can tie their Safeway membership card to little ol’ Orick Elementary School and raise money from thousands of miles away just by buying their regular groceries.

    Search for yourself. It’s mostly schools and churches participating, and a few other savvy nonprofits that realize it’s an easy way to raise some money.

    Auntie, if you don’t like this, then encourage other grocery stores to participate in eScrip.

  28. Auntie Arkley
    July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Anonymous at 11:19 am: Tens of thousands of dollars? Where do you get that figure? And what kind of profits does Safeway take out of Humboldt County? You will spend more than you have to to support a corporation only because it trickles down (read: pisses on us) a fraction of a percentage of its profits. Truly locally-owned stores tend to give a far greater percentage of their profits to local causes, and most of the rest of their money also stays in this county, as opposed to Safeway’s fortunes that are whisked away from this county to their corporate coffers. Again, you’re just the kind of brain-dead person the fascist, corporate, right-wing loves. Really, what a dupe!

  29. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

    (Er, and for the record, I hope you do follow my advice and e-mail those corporate grocery store offices and speak to store managers. I’d rather shop at Ray’s because they open a new register the second there are 3 people in line. Safeway is always loaded with consumers and the lines are long, but I’m willing to wait in line in order to help my nonprofits of choice.)

  30. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Tens of thousands of dollars? Where do you get that figure?

    It’s a guess. My small school raises $10K+ every year by doing nothing more than sending a sign-up flyer home and a couple hours of data entry once a year, and we’re a Title 1 school with a lot of poor families. I figure bigger schools and churches have more people, and thus more shoppers, and much greater income potential.

  31. Fact Checker
    July 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

    No Class Finance 11:29 Sorry, no facts to check. Just hyperbole and spin doctoring on behalf of another corporation.

  32. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    The different pay grades at Safeway, and at some other unionized businesses, came about primarily because their union members threw future employees under the bus for short term profit, apparently not realizing they were giving their employer incentive to fire the old and bring in the new. Lower pay during training is one thing. Lower pay and benefits forever is quite another.

  33. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Does Safeway carry local grass fed beef? Murphy’s, ENF and Co-Op do. Ray’s doesn’t.

  34. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I couldn’t find numbers specific to Humboldt County, but Safeway’s community page states the unfeeling corporation donated $23 million to schools last year and $168 million since it began participating, and that doesn’t include scholarships and other school programs it supports, or other non-education causes it supports.

    I figure if our one school raises $10K, then 100+ participating nonprofits in Humboldt County surely raise “tens of thousands” of dollars from eScrip. I always see grant programs and big check photos publicized in the newspaper when they come from the Co-op, but I’ve never seen Safeway make a big deal about the tremendous support it gives our community.

  35. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Well, at least we will have a decent grocery store opening up around here that doesn’t charge 50% above manufactures suggested retail price… </i?

    Surely you're not referring to Safeway, which is one of the more expensive supermarket chain stores around here? (Is the new store going to have much lower prices than their other stores in the area?)

    Winco carries almost all of the same stuff, much cheaper, they pay their workers decently and are (at least partially) employee-owned. Grocery Outlet has some great deals. The Co-op is generally quite expensive, but they do have some good prices on some of their bulk stuff, they carry a lot of local products, and they have many items that aren't available at the chain stores. Murphy's seems to be in about the same pricing category as Safeway and Ray's, has good deals on sale items, sells quite a few local products, has some good organic stuff and, unlike all the others is actually locally-owned.

    I really do not understand why anyone shops at Safeway (or for that matter at Ray's) unless it's much closer to their home than the alternatives and you're do some of your shopping there because it is convenient. And I really do not understand how the Safeway that is right next to Winco has managed to stay in business. What's the appeal of that store, just that it's a littel bit smaller so you don't have to walk as far as you gather your groceries? Brand loyalty? I just don't get it…

  36. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Oops, screwed up the end tag for the italics. The first paragraph was a quote from Mark Sailor’s comment above, the rest was my response to that comment. Sorry ’bout that.

  37. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Winco rocks compared to Safeway, but there’s only one in the county. My experience is that Ray’s provides a better shopping experience, but Safeway beats Ray’s prices hands down. Buy from one store, then take your receipt to the other store and compare. You’ll be surprised. Meanwhile, Murphy’s needs to modernize its facilities to lose the feel the 1970s ambiance. The Arcata Murphy’s has a nice British food selection though. Eureka Natural beats the Co-op on selection, but both are too pricey. Don’t buy any product at either store that can be found at a traditional store.

  38. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    As far as the money Safeway contributes to local schools, that’s great, and if people want to shop there for that reason, it’s fine with me.

    Of course you could always shop at WinCo and Grocery Outlet and the Farmer’s Markets and the bulk section of the Co-op and other lower-cost places and then take some of those savings and send them to your local school.

    But I do understand the convenience factor in terms of your donation automatically coming off your grocery expenses and going to the school of your choice. So again, if people want to make that choice, it’s fine with me.

  39. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks Tra. Knowing that it’s okay with you will now allow me to shop at Safeway with a clear conscience.

  40. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t have much information about how the bidding process worked for the construction of the new Safeway, so I don’t have any firm opinion on that. I do think it’s a shame that they aren’t using local firms and local union workers.

    And I have mixed feelings about the way Safeway treats their workers in general. My understanding is that long-term, full-time union employees at Safeway are doing pretty well, but if it’s true that they have this two-tier thing where new employees don’t just start out at lower pay, but continue under a whole lower pay structure — that sucks bigtime. Some of you may recall the big UPS strike about 15 or 16 years ago, where UPS tried to do the same thing. The workers stayed in solidarity and ended up winning bigtime.

    Unfortunately, this two-tier union contract thing has won out in some other industries / other companies, as management has successfully played divide-and-conquer with their employees, persuading long-time employees who were already on the better pay scale to support a two-tiered system where new employees not only started with lower pay (which is fine) but were forever on a whole (lower) pay scale, even as they gained more seniority. As P.J. noted, what then happens is that the company then has a strong incentive to get rid of as many as possible of the workers who are on the higher pay scale.

    So those higher pay-scale workers who support the two-tiered system end up screwing themselves and/or their colleauges, both those who are on the higher pay scale (but who the employer then has more incentive to get rid of) and those new folks who come in under the new, lower-pay system. It’s quite an insideous strategy, but thankfully most unions have caught on by now, and are able to educate their members to oppose that approach when management tries it.

  41. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I like that Winco pays decent wages and has an employee stock ownership plan, but they aren’t conveniently located enough for the small amount I would buy. I buy local beef and produce whenever possible.

  42. Not A Native
    July 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Safeway employees are unionized. I support unions, but I like to see open unions. Seems as long as his union gets its bigger slice of the pie, Sid Berg(and Richard Marks) supports the local conservative agenda to increase wealth disparity. That doesn’t reflect union solidarity with the working class, IMHO.

    A lot of construction projects around here don’t ‘pencil out’ if ‘prevailing wages’ are used. In Arcata, some vital projects with public fundings have been configured to avoid having to pay prevailing wages. I believe the new homeless shelter is being configured that way. I don’t know if the people behind the pencils have a desire to figure more carefully. After all their compensations are part of the calculation, everything else is a “cost’.

    According to Hi Fi you can’t blame a company “from(sic) wanting to save money”. By his reasoning, you can’t blame a construction worker from wanting to get a higher wage than the next guy. But if we promote a dog eat dog society, thats just a way of saying we reject the benefits of cooperation for the chance to get a lot more than other people. Whether union of management, wanting to be the winner means wanting someone else to be the loser.

  43. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks Tra. Knowing that it’s okay with you will now allow me to shop at Safeway with a clear conscience.

    Ouch. Okay, point taken. I didn’t mean to imply that anyone needs my permission to shop wherever they want. By saying “it’s fine with me” I just meant that I understant the argument and I see some validity to it. Just sharing my opinion, that’s all.

  44. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    When we begrudge our neighbors good wages we need to remember that their wages pay our wages.

  45. July 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I am not positive on this, but I am pretty sure Safeway pays as well or better that the CO-OP or Wildberries, and provides benefits.

  46. Random Guy
    July 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    FACT: Safeway uses automatic facial recognition software in their security cameras to relay and customer shopping information…right down to where you look on shelves for what. Take a look at how many cameras they’ve got in their stores…kinda freaky, eh? If you’re a member of their U-shop whatever program, you’ve even signed the dotted line allowing them to completely exploit your personal shopping experience so as to further sell you “food” you don’t need…that info is directly connected to the facebook etc. pool of information collection you might already be giving away.

    Of course their employees are great…people are great. But if you’re not beaming when you work at a safeway, you’re history.

  47. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    When we begrudge our neighbors good wages we need to remember that their wages pay our wages.

    It amazes me that there are so many people who don’t seem to grasp that simple point. Unfortunately that seems to include quite a few folks who are in politics.

    The ongoing Bay Bridge project is a prime example: Much of the production of bridge components was “outsourced” to China to “save taxpayers’ money.” When you look at the cost of the components in isolation, it looks like a lot of money was saved, but when you consider all the jobs and wages that went to China, and the fact that therefore people in the U.S. had fewer jobs and less wages, and that therefore less that would come back in in terms of tax revenue, while at the same time more unemployed people in the U.S. would then be relying on government programs to get by, I doubt anything any U.S. taxpayer’s money was really “saved” in the end.

    If I had my “druthers,” then for all government-funded programs, any components that could be manufactured in the U.S. would be required to be sourced here (unfortunately, decades of this “outsourcing” have made it so that some of these components are no longer manufactured here at all, so there would probably still be quite a bit of “ooutsourcing” for that reason..but at least we could start to stop the bleeding before our manufacturing capacity is completely hollowed out).

    If more of the components were sourced here, instead of outsourced, it might look like more taxpayer money was spent (by the particular government entity, and in the short-term), but in the Long Term, and in the Big Picture, we’d all be a lot better off.

  48. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    A classic example of “penny wise – pound foolish,” Tra.

  49. TimH
    July 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    SAFEWAY #2908 – EUREKA

    Bid Date: 1/26/2010 Bid Time: 2:00 PM
    Pre Bid Visit: 1/12 at 10:00am at Store #0641
    City: EUREKA
    County: Humboldt
    Street: 2520 Harris St
    Zip Code: 95501

    Project Type: Commercial

    Description:
    This project has a select list of SIX General Contractors and not subject to change. This project consists of the construction of a new 49,145 sf ground-up Safeway facility in Eureka, CA. Trades to include: Construction staking, erosion control, site demolition, structure demolition, grading, underground utilities, asphalt paving, fencing, retaining walls, traffic signals, pavement striping, landscaping, site concrete, building concrete, pre-cast tilt-up concrete panels, masonry, decorative stone, structural metal framing, steel joists, metal deck, miscellaneous metals, rough carpentry, finish carpentry, building insulation, metal roofing, built-up roofing, flashing / sheet metal, joint sealers, doors & hardware, overhead doors, traffic doors, storefront, glass / glazing, automatic entrance doors, portland cement plaster, metal stud framing, drywall, tile, acoustical ceilings, resilient flooring, epoxy flooring, sealed concrete, FRP, painting, toilet partitions, restroom accessories, specialties, awnings, loading dock equipment, fire sprinklers, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical.

    Apparently Reeve-Knight was the low bidder. I doubt they went out shopping for higher prices after they turned in their bid.

  50. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    But if you’re not beaming when you work at a safeway, you’re history.

    I have a friend who worked at Wildberries for a while. She said they had a training where they were told that for every customer who comes up to the checkout stand, the checkers are supposed to point out at least one item and compliment the shopper on their selection, as in “That (fill in name of product) is really (delicious/effective/whatever). I really like it myself (use it myself / buy it all the time / whatever).”

    After she told me that, I started noticing checkers doing that, not every time, but quite often. Defintely at Wildberries, and I noticed it at the Co-op, too (where checkers seem to be encouraged to have lots of conversation with the shoppers in general). I haven’t seen any of that at Winco or Murphy’s, and I don’t shop at ENF, Ray’s or Safeway enough to say if they’re doing it there, too.

    My friend found this requirement to be really demeaning and annoying, because essentially she felt tha she was being asked to lie to almost every customer (it would be a lie unless she really DID love that particular product so much that she would have commented on it anyway). She quit working at Wildberries fairly soon afterward, and in the meantime she subverted the policy by singling out some product for which the comment/compliment would seem especially odd and out-of-place, as in “Yeah I really love that brand of Maxi-Pads, ‘cuz when I have my period I really bleed like a stuck pig and those things just soak it up like a diaper” or “That toilet paper is great, I use it all the time because it’s like sandpaper for your backside, it really scours you clean” and so on!

    Anyway, I find the whole thing pretty creepy. I resent people trying to manipulate me, and I feel terrible for the low-wage workers who are forced to act as the store’s agent in trying to manipulate me, and are forced to lie and exaggerate as a matter of routine. I haven’t been back to Wildberries in a long time, so I don’t know if they still have that policy (or if, for that matter, my friend was exaggerating in the first place), but I’m curious whether other folks have noticed this same phenomenon or if there’s anyone commenting here who has been an employee instructed to carry out that little charade.

  51. Plain Jane
    July 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I didn’t know it was a tactic, Tra, but I’ve had that happen at just about every store and had checkers ask me about a product I’ve bought that they haven’t tried. At Murphy’s I’ve had stockers and checkers suggest a better bargain and that’s always appreciated. I can’t think of any business that wouldn’t require their employees to be friendly to customers even if they didn’t feel like it.

  52. Random Guy
    July 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    true dat, tra. Customer relations at the register is disgusting just about everywhere “big”, I’ve been on the button side often enough, basically told I had to pretend to kiss ass. I’ve always favored the night crews muhself…lot more real.

  53. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Kissing a customer’s ass is part of customer service. People like to be treated nicely and they return to places where they feel that they will be treated this way. Random Guy, you should open your own store where you keep it real with the customers. Let me know how that store does.

  54. July 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    There is no employees at Safeway hired at less than 8.45 an hour nor less than 24 hours a week, with the exception of the baggers who work 16 hours minimum make 8.50.

    The facial recognition capabilities of the camera system is complete bs. Most complaints people have come from one bad experience or relationships with former employees.

    The reason the lines are long is because Safeway has something called customers… Rays doesn’t. So stock it out people… you have to wait in line in the cities.

  55. retired guy
    July 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Fact Checker at 11:12—-How does Safeway get around paying minimum wage?

  56. arcatawitch
    July 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Mark Sailors said: “I am not positive on this, but I am pretty sure Safeway pays as well or better that the CO-OP or Wildberries, and provides benefits.”

    The Co-op provides benefits.

  57. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Requiring checkers and other customer-service employees to be reasonably friendly and attentive to customer needs in general is one thing, but requiring checkers to make up stories about how they just love some particular product and that they buy and use it themselves all the time (if they don’t), is quite another thing.

    It’s definitely a tactic at some stores, apparently not at others, or at least not in such an extreme form. It may be that some stores just suggest that the checkers point out products that they really DO like and use themselves, whereas other stores (according to my friend, Wildberries was/is one of them) may require checkers to point out and praise and endorse products whether they actually like those products themselves or not.

    I found it way obvious at Wildberries because you’d have 3 or 4 people in line in front of you, some with only a handful of items, yet the checker would somehow have a favorite product to mention for every single customer. That just isn’t very believable.

    I think it’s great when a stocker or checker takes a minute to suggest something that’s on sale, or a better bargain, or something that they really do like. But I hate the idea of these checkers being forced to lie and deceive in a routine way, just to keep their low-paying jobs.

    That’s just disgusting, demeaning, and dehumanizing, and if I think that they are doing that at a particular store, I will not shop there.

  58. July 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The co-op benefit plan is pay then be reimbursed from what people tell me.

    My point was, that trying to make Safeway into the devil, and anti working people is just plain dumb.

  59. Jeff
    July 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Dehumanizing to have checkers tell each customer one positive thing about that customer’s shopping experience? Little dramatic today Tra.

  60. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    It’s demeaning and dehumanizing when they are forced to lie to meet that goal, Jeff. If it is just suggested that they point out products that they truly do use themselves, and truly do buy and use themselves, I have no problem with that. But according to my friend who worked at Wildberries, it went way beyond that.

  61. Jeff
    July 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    That surprises me. I shop weekly at Wildberries and have never noticed anyone commenting on my purchases. I read what you wrote and immediately assumed that managers told service workers to be sociable and complementary to the customers. Is it possible that the managers said, “you must lie and say things that go against your moral being in order to please the customer”? I guess that is possible but it’s hard to believe. Seems more likely that your friend just didn’t like giving people random compliments and her/his store managers expect that sort.

  62. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I shop at Wildberries and the Co-op all the time. I find the checkers friendly (mostly) and have not really noticed anyone gushing over my shopping choices, though once in awhile someone might comment. Usually, there is some small talk during the checkout process…seems to me to be more normal and humanizing, for both the checker and the customer, than no interaction.

  63. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    FACT: Random Guy invents conspiracy theories because he’s just learned that stores have security cameras.

  64. tra
    July 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Jeff and Anonymous 4:48,

    It’s been a couple of years since my friend told me that story and I stopped shopping at Wildberries not long after that (which to be honest I never shopped at all that much anyway because it’s not near my home and tmost of the prices are pretty high).

    As I recall, she didn’t say that the manager specifically told her to lie, but she was specifically told that she needed to say about at least one item in every customer’s order that she really liked and used it herself. Unless you really like and yourself use just about every item in the store, it sure seems like she was being asked to lie. At first she tried to just do it when it could be at least somewhat sincere (because one of the items really was something she actually did really like and used herself) but according to her she was then scolded by the manager for failing to do it for all customers.

    She’s a very friendly person with a pleasant disposition, and I don’t think she objected to the idea of trying to have friendly interactions with the customers, she just didn’t like being asked to exaggerate and/or lie in order to have what amounted to a phony interaction with the customers.

    I’ll certainly acknowledge that this was just one person telling me this, and I didn’t investigate it any further. She’s my friend, she’s not someone who I have found to be given to exaggeration, and in general she liked the job pretty well (at least up to that point) so I didn’t think she had any reason to mislead me about it. But, again, that’s just one person’s anecdote, maybe she really did misinterpret what she was being asked to do, or maybe she exaggerated in telling me the story, or maybe it was an isolated incident with one particular manager who was looking to find fault with her or something like that, I don’t know.

    I do know that once she had mentioned it, I noticed it several times — sometimes it seemed really forced and awkward on the part of the checker, other times not so much so. But I only went there maybe half a dozen times after she told me that story, and then I pretty much stopped going altogether.

    And again, this was a couple of years ago, so maybe things have changed there.

  65. Walt
    July 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    It was enough for me that Safeway bought the store in Henderson Center and turned around and sold it with the clause that it couldn’t be used as a grocery store for 50 years. A lot of older residents who didn’t have cars and used to walk to the market now had to take a cab. . .to Safeway.

  66. Sid Berg
    July 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    … local 5 says:
    July 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm
    Please do not boycott or agonize Safeway employees on the local level.
    ———————–
    I understand your concerns. This was a difficult decision to pursue. I have shopped Safeway for years because of their good union employees. Safeway would not communicate and this seems to be a pattern in their new construction department in other areas as well.
    They chose not to care.
    Perhaps if thousands of customers contact them, they will consider using companies that use local workers next time they build.

  67. Sid Berg
    July 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    grackle says:
    July 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm
    Is this a union/ non-union fight? This doesn’t seem to be the whole story. Details, please.
    —————————————————-

    I would be happy to go into much more detail than I can cover in a blog.
    The union conection in the handbill is that our members paid for it. If there were local qualified workers employed on this project, I would not have made it an issue. Had Safeway contacted me about possible bid shopping, perhaps it would not have gone this far. For those critical of my decision to go public, right or wrong, feel free to contact me directly. sid@ua290.org

  68. July 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Let me guess: Safeway pays pre-Prop 13 taxes on the property they’re about to abandon. Sweeeeeet (for Safeway).

  69. Sid Berg
    July 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Not A Native says:
    July 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm
    Is this the same local that endorsed Richard Marks, Virginia Bass, and likely Rex Bohn? The little I’ve heard about this local tells me they go for their short end money and aren’t concerned if that gets this area a one way ticket to Palookaville.
    —————————————————–
    Damned if you do, damned if ya don’t! Unlike many unions, the local members decide on endorsements. Unions are different depending on bargaining units, public vs private, member participation and leadership. As in life, nothing is perfect.
    This union would like to see a local economy able to sustain a decent standard of living for all those willing to work for it, in a community we can all be proud of. If we were short sighted and concerned about money, the union would have folded it’s tent and left long time ago. The United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters local in Eureka was one of the oldest unions in the country and was granted a charter in 1904.
    We have an active training center and sponsor a California registered Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Program that has graduated scores of journeyman plumbers and steamfitters over the years, at NO COST to the taxpayers.
    Local people need local jobs, and for Safeway or any other customer based company to blow off local workers, union or not, is not RIGHT!

  70. Anonymous
    July 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Sid, in the past you have asked candidates what they think of gun control. How is that a union issue?

  71. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Hey Sid how’s the Brady Bunch treatin ya?

  72. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Sid,

    what is not right are ” the local con artists and rip-offs” who call themselves businesses and business owners. Not all, but over 50% is a realistic figure……that is not a success rate society wants increased.

    Guess what, unions cost money to operate – less money in the workers’ pockets, especially when they lose their job union due to the “over-charges and increased societal costs” that unions ONLY CAUSE harm on the consumer. So, eventually, the union bums are checkmated when the extra pay from over-chargings causes over-chargings on everything else. The back-stabbing part is that for awhile, union members are gaining benefits through laundering businesses who gorge off of the consumer and not their own business…same as the e-script example of money launderings and charitable donation frauds used by business to force the customer to make other people look and feel good…..ya know, popularity participant style by taking credit for something that appears as a positive gesture, but in reality, others were forced economically to subsidize the popularity participant so that the PPer could re-route the wealth in order to look as if they (the businesses involved) were such humane donors……surely a tax write-off scheme lays somewhere on the armrest. America’s price gougings and fixings are the product of liars and cheats!

    J L

  73. July 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Mr. Berg,

    Are you and your union in favor of a higher minimum wage for LOCAL workers or not?

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

    “This union would like to see a local economy able to sustain a decent standard of living for all those willing to work for it, in a community we can all be proud of.” – S. Berg

  74. High Finance
    July 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

    A $10 an hour Eureka minimum wage would devaste a lot of Eureka businesses. You would probably see a half-dozen Eureka restaurants close their doors in just the first few weeks.

    Prices would have to rise in all retail stores in town. Those that could would move out of the city limits. Others will lay off as many employees as possible. Teenagers could forget about anybody hiring them.

  75. You can’t blame a American worker for wanting to make more money
    July 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

    High Finance says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:44 am
    A $10 an hour Eureka minimum wage would devaste a lot of Eureka businesses.”

    Slave owners made the same argument.

  76. Plain Jane
    July 20, 2011 at 9:05 am

    A number of years ago Washington State raised their minimum wage. There were anguished claims from the Chamber of Commerce that it would drive small businesses under, increase unemployment, etc. However, the end result was small businesses increased their prices slightly but their profits increased by 11% and they were able to hire more workers at the higher minimum wage rate to keep up with the increased demand. Apparently putting more money in the pockets of the working class means even more money in the pockets of business owners. Who would have thought???

  77. Plain Jane
  78. July 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

    If the first half dozen restaurants to close were McDonalds, Wendys and Burger Kings I would be ok with that.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  79. July 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

    High Finance,

    LIke I said to Richard Marks the other day.

    If I were to try to raise the minimum wage here again I would probably limit it to large companies. Companies with 100 or so employees. There are very few local Eureka restaurants with 100 employees.

    Also I think I would probably make the initiative county wide. Although that would require more signatures to qualify for the ballot, in some ways it is easier to gather sigs from the county wide electorate than from just the small Eureka subset.

    For instance, someone mentioned a few weeks ago that the COOP is a good place to gather sigs. The truth is that the majority of COOP shoppers are from outside the actual city limits, so they cannot sign a purely local Eureka measure. County wide inittiatives would be better at the COOP and similar venues.

    These kind of initiatives have value to my side beyond whether they succeed or fail. They drive up voter turnout and participatioin and that is almost always good for our side. Republicans almost always want lower turnout.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  80. High Finance
    July 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

    You’re a hard cold man Bill. Apparently your post of 9.13am tells us you are unconcerned about the hundreds of employees of “McDonalds, Wendys and Burger Kings” losing their jobs ?

    For you to raise the minimum wage of just Eureka would end up hurting Eureka a lot. You would have to raise the minimum wage for all of Humboldt county.

  81. July 20, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Spin Spin Spin

    Close down the Mcburger shacks and folks will go to Hole in the Wall, Mikes, coop deli, smugs pizza, porters bar b que. Their business will go up, they will hire the workers.

    That’s how the marketplace works.

    The upside is they will be making more money in better working conditions.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  82. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

    High Finance said “You would have to raise the minimum wage for all of Humboldt county.”

    Half an hour earlier, Highboldtage already said that’s what he’d want to do.

  83. The Big Picture
    July 20, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for the correction Walt 8:35.

    Like most corporations today, Safeway donates debatable amounts of money to charity, while denying entire communities a convenient place to shop and demanding public subsidies in the process.

    Since its inception, higher employment figures have followed every Federal minimum wage increase.

  84. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    highboldtage says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:33 am
    Mr. Berg,

    Are you and your union in favor of a higher minimum wage for LOCAL workers or not?

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill
    —————————————————————————————
    Dear Bill, I would love to hear your ideas on the matter in a private conversation. I am not an economist and am willing to get educated in the debate. Perhaps another forum would be appropriate. I have enough to do to help maintain a standard of living for a very small segment of our community. Personally, and not speaking for any organization, I do not think $10.00 per hour is close to a living wage. Unless a solid case can be made for a county wide disaster, I would most likely support a increased minumum wage effort.

  85. Random Guy
    July 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    5:40, look into it….beyond the first few pages of a google search, that is. Idiot. Do you think they want to advertise teh fact that the minute you walk into the store, you’re zero’d in? Howzabout you call their corp. headquarters and try to get a straight answer out of them about it? Rots of ruck!

    Consumer information collection (i.e. the business of buying and selling it) is HUGE. Bigger than it’s ever been, because it’s easier than it’s ever been. It’s the motivating force behind PG&E’s smart meters as well, not downsizing meter readers. That’s just a perk in their eyes.

  86. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Anonymous says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm
    Sid, in the past you have asked candidates what they think of gun control. How is that a union issue?
    —————————————————————————————-
    My issue in this forum was to address the practice of Safeway importing workers to our community while local workers (union and non-union alike)are having a difficult time putting FOOD on their tables.

    You hide your identity, but you appear to know me. Why must you ambush me publicly, when I have stated my reasons when that subject comes up?
    The majority of members I represent have problems with unions telling them how to vote. I respect that. Some candidates are strong labor candidates that support working class ideas, including Bill’s $10.00 / hr minumum wage. If I can educate our membership why a candidate is going to be supportive of labor, then hopefully our members will vote for them. Concurrently, if I believe a candidate has strong labor values, but intends to legislate away the recreation opportunities and Second Amendment rights that many of our members cherish, then I doubt they will get those votes, regardless of my recomondations. If I can help educate a candidate by sharing that information, then what harm did it do?
    Example, Educating our membership that Jerry Brown was actually more of a supporter of the Second Amendment than Meg Whitman, helped convince most of our members to support Brown, Which in my opinion is a much stronger labor candidate. In a close election I believe every vote counts.
    And , Mr.(Ms?) Anonymous, the same thing I tell every candidate, Gun Control is NOT a union issue!

  87. Plain Jane
    July 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Gun control, like abortion, gay rights, Sharia law, etc. are used by politicians to convince people to vote for candidates whose overall agenda is against their own best interests. The 2nd amendment is the law of the land and it would take a constitutional amendment to overturn it. Any laws which unduly restrict ownership would be overturned by SCOTUS, or haven’t you noticed?

  88. July 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    No Mr. Berg,

    I don’t think $10.00 an hour is a “living wage” either.

    I am not trying to change the world. I am trying to put a few dollars more into the paychecks of the lowest paid workers among us. Those folks who have been crushed by 30 years of runaway capitalism. An extra $40 or $50 take home per check will make a big difference for these people.

    The minimum wage today will have to be $12.00 an hour just to match the purchasing power of the original. The $10.00 figure is from 2008 and our dollar has devalued significantly since then.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  89. Bolithio
    July 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I cant wait for the new Safeway. Safeway is also a good company for people with food allergies. They produce all of their food in CA, and have outstanding labeling policy – in contrast to many other mainstream food suppliers. I have spoken with them directly on several occasions, and even got information in writing from them. The big bro paranoia over Safeway is ridiculous.

    …this over-congested area is about to become even more dangerous for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

    LOL right. sour grapes for sure. The busiest part of this area is Jitter Bean. What have they done for traffic mitigation? This thread is seriously a Simpson’s Mob.

  90. Fact Checker
    July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Bolithio says:
    July 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    They produce all of their food in CA, and have outstanding labeling policy…”

    I bought apple juice from Safeway, their brand, and did not notice until I was home that the country of origin was CHINA!!!!!

    http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2010/03/lab_tests_turn_up_high_levels.html

  91. Fact Checker
    July 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    “Lab tests turn up high levels of arsenic in apple juice

    And now this: arsenic in apple juice.

    In a food study published Monday, the St. Petersburg Times reported that independent tests turned up worrying levels of the chemical in a juice many kids love.

    The Florida newspaper said independent tests of Motts, Apple & Eve Organics and Walmart’s Great Value — contained between 25 and 35 ppb of arsenic, above the FDA’s level of concern. apple juice turned up 25 to 35 parts per billion of arsenic in one-quarter of 18 samples.

    The Food and Drug Administration has not defined a safe amount of heavy metals in juices, but considers 23 parts per billion a “level of concern,” the newspaper reported.

    Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment — it’s in water, in fact — but high levels can cause health problems and long term exposure can lower the IQs of children, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Farmers use arsenic-based pesticides and more than 60 percent of the apple juice from concentrate sold in the U.S. comes from Chinese orchards, the newspaper reported.

    Check out the full story on the St. Petersburg Times Web site.”

  92. High Finance
    July 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Actually Bill, $8 in 2008 is the equivelent of $8.18 today when adjusted for the Cost of Living Index.

  93. Not A Native
    July 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Fi parrots the ideology about lost McD’s jobs for a decent wage. But does he know anything???

    Now let me see here. I’ve got a pencil too.

    With all those billions and billions served, just how much more would I need to pay to get happy at McD while ensuring the workers all get a $10/ hr. wage???

    According to the net, McD’s has 47 Million customers a day and 32,000 stores. That averages to about 1,460 daily customers per store. If there are 4 peon employees on duty for 15 hours, thats 60 payroll hours a day. If each employee gets $5 more per hour(includes additional what employer pays for OASDI and worker comp) thats $300 more a day to the employees.

    That all adds up to 20 cents more per customer to pay a decent wage. So where are my calcs off??

  94. Plain Jane
    July 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    And those additional wages circulate through the economy and increase profits. As I posted about Washington State, minimum wage employers increased their profits by 11% after a large minimum wage increase. Everyone won. Chamber of Commerce wisdom isn’t.

  95. grackle
    July 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    The minimum wage in 1949 was $.75 per hour. = $6.82 today
    In 1974 it was $2.30 which = $10.91 today

    It has always been a pitiful amount.

  96. July 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Actually HIFI if you think that the CPI really reflects the true cost of living you are really out to lunch. Is that what you are really claiming?

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  97. Bolithio
    July 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Told you they labeled good Fact Checker!

  98. Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Maybe Plain Jane is unfamiliar with Sid’s views on gun control.

  99. Plain Jane
    July 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Why are his views on gun control relevant (or mine for that matter) to what I said, 6:38?

  100. Random Guy
    July 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Cost to rent a 1 bedroom apt. in urban california between 1970-2000? Cost to rent a 3 bedroom house during that time? Cost of a gallon of milk during that time? Cost of produce during that time? Cost of gasoline during that time? Cost of utilities during that time? Cost of public transportation during that time? Costs related to minimum wage during that time? Update all costs between 2001-2011, and relate to minimum wage again.

    Sum total: Official cost of living numbers are VERY skewed, and the poor are VERY screwed.

  101. Anonymous
    July 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Mr. Berg’s union has about fifty members stretching out from northern Oregon to Humboldt County.

    Safeway employs about five hundred union members locally. They are members of a different union than Mr. Berg’s.

    Mr. Berg is asking us to support his union’s members by taking jobs away from the much larger number of local people who work at union grocery stores.

  102. anon
    July 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Actually, the area Mr. Berg represents has approx.40 members, living mostly in Humboldt/Del Norte counties. Know your facts before blasting away. Do you really want people from Central/So-Cal coming in to take your neighbor’s job?? Union or not, its not OK. This is not the only area Safeway is doing this..

  103. High Finance
    July 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Just to start with NAN, 3.12pm, there are far more than “4 peon workers” on duty at any one time.

  104. Not A Native
    July 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    No soap Hi Fi. First, I think four peons is a good average. I visited the Carl’s Jr. in Arcata recently in the afternoon, there were only 3 people working, including the manager. But even it were eight peons, the price increase per customer would need to average only 40 cents.

  105. High Finance
    July 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Try again NAN. You are using average McDonalds sales and dividing by average Carl’s Jr employees ?

    Another mistake was assuming an average of only 4 “peon” employees. Go to any McDonalds. During most times there might be 10-15 employees in the front & back. There is never less than 4 employees even at 11pm. For you to say that they only average 4 employees tells me you have never been in a McDonalds or you are blind.

    And that is only counting the large fast food places. Many local restaurants are on the edge of closing their doors. They cannot absorb or pass on to customers a $3 per hour increase per employee. It will force them to close their doors.

  106. Sid Berg
    July 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

    “Anonymous says:
    July 21, 2011 at 12:53 am
    Mr. Berg’s union has about fifty members stretching out from northern Oregon to Humboldt County.

    Safeway employs about five hundred union members locally. They are members of a different union than Mr. Berg’s.

    Mr. Berg is asking us to support his union’s members by taking jobs away from the much larger number of local people who work at union grocery stores.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Dear Anonymous,
    Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290 actually has more than 4,000 members in our jurisdiction, which includes Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. When the PG&E power plant was under construction, we had nearly 100 members living and working here, including 13 apprentices. Unfortunately, when there are no local jobs, our members have to leave the area to feed their families.

    It is true that the Safeway food clerks are represented by a different union. (I have shopped Safeway almost exclusively in the past because of my support of their union.)

    Safeway’s lack of concern for local construction workers, union or not, sends a message to other retailers (that rely on local customer support) that the little people do not matter. This is becoming a trend that must be recognized or we can kiss all future decent paying jobs goodbye.
    Other examples of local construction being built by out of area workers include: Mad River Hospital’s Shaw Pavilion, Blue Lake Rancharia’s new Hotel, Bear River’s new Hotel, Hampton Inn(Valley West), Redwood Harley Davidson, Humboldt State’s College Creek Student Housing, Humboldt County Office of Education, College of the Redwoods (New Building), and all of Ray’s Markets. (I don’t shop at Ray’s either!)

    I will continue to support local businesses that use local contractors and local union checkers like the North Coast Co-op. Eureka Natural foods, St. Joesph Hospital and Almquist Lumber also chose to use local construction workers. These busnesses deserve our support, and I would encourage any retail, customer based business building or remodeling a store in our community, at least have the conversation, “what can we do to help the local economy”.

    If enough of the public will voice their concerns, just maybe we can make a difference in our community and put local workers back to work!

  107. Not A Native
    July 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Best thing we can do to support the local economy is to foster sustainable industries that aren’t based on resource extraction for commodity markets. Instead of maximizing current jobs as Sid wants with resultant booms and busts that destroy families and cast workers onto the scrap pile, we should be investing in conserving resources and increasing their value.

    Sid Berg is promoting large scale employers who then support large scale workers. Thats appropriate for an assembly line manufacturing environment where economies of scale are most important. Its not appropriate for limited and small specialty production where value is created with artisan and knowledge skills, not inter-changable hard working bodies.

  108. Sid Berg
    July 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Not A Native says:
    July 23, 2011 at 11:37 am
    Best thing we can do to support the local economy is to foster sustainable industries that aren’t based on resource extraction for commodity markets.Sid Berg is promoting large scale employers who then support large scale workers
    ————————————————————————————-

    Why can’t we all get along?

    I am NOT opposed to “small specialty production where value is created with artisan and knowledge skills”. The United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters has educated and promoted the use of Humboldt County craftsmen and “small scale employers” since it’s inception in 1904. It is understood that a “resource based economy” on a large level, is a thing of the past. We just lost an opportunity to restart a viable value added, sustainable industry that could have led to the domestic manufacture of chlorine free tissue. Now we are faced with a dependence on imported paper products, made with substandard enviormental and wage standards. We may also face the loss of our water rights to the Mad River as a result. And meanwhile, we watch the export of raw logs and chips to the Pacific Rim. Have we lost all touch with reason?
    To sustain small scale artisan production, we need adequate infrastructure, and the close proximity to a population that will purchase the products. Guatemala has a talented source of artisans as well, but they do not enjoy the standard of living we have grown to expect. The wages paid to workers need to be high enough to sustain a family, and the tax base to provide the services our community needs.
    Bringing in workers from out of the area, (as in the Safeway building) and fighting with each other, does little to solve the economic troubles of our region.

  109. ShirleyValentine
    July 26, 2011 at 7:09 am

    How many of the current Safeway stores were built using local contractor’s? Whenever the stores have a “re-set”, Safeway always brings in outside labor. Additionally, 20+ years ago Safeway hired employees as “Variety Clerks” and these people are paid less and rarely do any ever become a cashier/checker. In addition to being paid less, these employees are considered part-time. They do receive benefits but not the “Golden Package” a Journeyman clerk has available.

  110. steve payne
    July 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Anonymous hit the nail on the head about the Safeway and eScript!! What a “feel good” scam that is. They donate a percentage of the gouged price to the consumer to a charity of your choice. They get the tax break, not the consumer!!!! How many STUPID people fall for that one. Safeway is a huge rip off! I shop wherever the lowest prices are and locally its at Winco

  111. Molly
    September 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Wow I see a lot of good points and some very very false assumptions. I have been a Safeway employee for 9 years and have worked at both Eureka Safeway stores. I will be at the new store also come late October. Say Hello, and I will be happy to help you.

    Anyway, the comment I found interesting is:

    “cjecker says:
    July 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    There is no employees at Safeway hired at less than 8.45 an hour nor less than 24 hours a week, with the exception of the baggers who work 16 hours minimum make 8.50.

    The facial recognition capabilities of the camera system is complete bs. Most complaints people have come from one bad experience or relationships with former employees.

    The reason the lines are long is because Safeway has something called customers… Rays doesn’t. So stock it out people… you have to wait in line in the cities.”

    The highest Journeyman Food Clerk wage is over 18$ an hour and the more hours you work, the more raises you obtain over time.

    I would also like to point out that Safeway has long lines sometimes because we don’t have enough help. I try to check as fast as I can and with a leg injury sometimes it is hard for me. I think sometimes the company expects us to work twice as hard to give less hours and save some money. But I guess I can see both sides of the coin fore it has worked well so far all these years.

  112. Anonymous
    October 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I just have to laugh at the ” We Care” banner at the top of this page. As a Safeway employee I am badgered to raise money for what ever disability or cancer of the month they need donations for. If you don’t get enough customers to donate you will be getting a talking to about this from the manager.

    I am a cancer survivor and 3 years out. Needless to say, I have Dr appointments galore. I am always getting denied my requests or some unreal schedules just to keep my appointment. The managers even lie that I did not ask for the time off to get scans when indeed I have. Some of these appointments have been in place for months. After several notes and verbal requests I’m still scheduled to work. The manager told my union rep that I simply didn’t request for the time off. My manager told me that she was sick of all my Dr. appointments. Yeah, I’m sick of it too. There are enough employees to cover for me, obviously, as they only give me 24 hours a week anyway. This after 22 years with the company. SAFEWAY DOES NOT CARE !! Remember this when they ask for donations!!!

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