Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grocery Employees...I stand behind you!

This morning I sat on the couch doing something that I don't do very often. I planned out meals for the next three days. Now for some people that is a normal thing, they plan out their meals a week in advance and make one trip to the store every week. I'm not like that though...I love to go to the store almost every day, see the wonderful ladies at QFC, and get my requisite daily outing done. :) But today was different. The workers of some of the major grocery stores could be striking soon.

In this country we just made our way through a government shutdown (and don't worry, I'm not getting all political here lol) for some the last thing they want is to deal with another strike of sorts. Well I have to say to my ladies...Jane, Jen and all the other ladies and men who work at the stores I frequent...I stand behind you 100%!

Most people take for granted the men and women who work at the grocery stores that provide us with service day in and day out. But as I've said before...these workers are my "support network." I look forward to seeing Jane or Jen when I walk into the store, and I will wait in line or walk around the store longer until one of their lines are open.

What are they fighting for, you ask? Well they are standing up against the higher ups in the companies for some things that most corporate workers take for granted. They are fighting because the CEOs of these companies are wanting:
  • NO Healthcare coverage for those workers working less than 30 hours a week. (and that means that they will cut hours so people don't work more than 30 hours.)
  • No Time-and-a-half on Holidays.
  • NO Cost of living wage increase as well as major cuts in their contracts.
I've been trying to keep up on this whenever it comes on the news. And honestly I find it ridiculous that they are having to fight for these things. Over the past few years I've watched as the prices of groceries have gone up. And I frequent QFC and Fred Meyer, both of which are owned by Kroger Company. It's crazy to see the price differences between the stores, and even between QFC stores that are with in a few miles of each other. And through all of this, the heads of the corporation are filling their pocket books while we fill our carts.

I recently watched a special on Costco, and I was happy to see how well they treated their employees. They pay their employees a wage that they can actually live on, and their retention rate of employees is phenomenal! On top of that, about 86% of their employees have healthcare benefits...most of them being part time employees. Why is it that more companies don't understand that their employees are valuable and an integral part to the success of their business? I realize that the economy has been "not so good" lately, but through all of this, Costco's sales have grown. When a company treats their employees well, that gets passed along from their employees to their customers and it makes for an all around better experience for everyone.

I heard a saying while working for a catering company in Boston, I was working an event and overheard an employee of the company we were catering for say, "Corporations are like a tree full of monkeys. All the ones on top look down and see a bunch of smiling faces. All the ones on the bottom look up and see nothing but a bunch of assholes." I had to contain my laughter, you know...trying to be professional and all, but I realized that it's very true! In most companies the workers who are on the ground floor are taken for granted.

Our country has things backwards, if you ask me. The people who should be paid the most are those who are in service positions. Teachers, wait staff, office workers, grocery clerks and employees...all of these people are the ones who are fighting day in and day out to make things happen. Teachers have one of the most important jobs in my opinion. Shaping the minds of our future generations is something that should be heralded and those who take on that task should be rewarded accordingly. Sadly, that isn't the case, funding for our schools have been cut in many places and teachers are spending more and more from their own pockets to supplement their classrooms.

We need to stop and take notice...and stop taking for granted the people who are overlooked on a daily basis. People always ask me why I talk to the grocery clerks or the wait staff...and my response is..."They are people too." Have you ever noticed that a grocery clerk always asks the customer how they are? Have you ever noticed how many customers actually ask the clerk that question back? The numbers are quite different. I always make it a point to carry on a conversation, and not just "polite conversation." If you have the chance to talk to someone, do it. Stop taking these people who work so hard to make our lives easier for granted.

To all the men and women working for Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer, Albertson's....I'm behind you 100%, and if it comes down to a strike...I will NOT cross that line. What I will do is support you and bring you a glass of wine if you want one!

Until next time...Keep Cooking!

To see how you can support your local grocery workers, or to see which are affected near you, check out this website: Stand With Our Checkers

1 comment:

  1. I was happy to see our Top Foods/Haggen on Hwy. 99 won't be on strike and neither will PCC. Phew! I won't cross a picket line and was worried where I could shop. I hope this won't last long if it does happen, I know those hard working folks don't want to walk out.