Sponsored link
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Sponsored link

UncategorizedIWW workers take on Whole Foods in SF

IWW workers take on Whole Foods in SF

Picketers on the line at Whole Foods
Picketers on the line at Whole Foods

By Marc Norton

NOVEMBER 7, 2014 – Three days ago, Bay Area voters raised minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland. There were also successful campaigns to raise minimum wages in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Yesterday, workers at the San Francisco Whole Foods Market at 4th and Harrison Streets took the fight for fair wages to another level.  Early this afternoon, a delegation of workers presented management with a demand for a $5-an-hour across-the-board wage increase for all employees.  Workers at the store currently earn from $11 to $19.25 an hour.

At the call of an air horn, a contingent of workers in the store stopped work and gathered at the café bar near the store’s entrance. Other Whole Foods workers, who were not on duty but who had infiltrated the store, joined them, along with a number of supporters. They then summoned the store manager.  As workers and supporters gathered around, and customers looked on somewhat bewildered, long-time Whole Foods worker Nick announced to the assembled crowd, “We are the Industrial Workers of the World.”

Nick and two other Whole Foods workers, both women, presented their demands for better wages and better treatment: “We are ready to earn enough at this job so that we can quit the other two.” Ryan Rosprim, the store manager, listened patiently, but did not respond.

The workers ended the gathering with a demand for an answer by November 14, when their next paycheck is due. At that, on-the-clock workers returned to their jobs, while the other workers and their supporters exited the store, chanting “Si, Se Puede!”

Outside, workers and supporters conducted a brief rally and picket.

“We are workers at Whole Foods Market building a movement for power and a voice on the job,” reads a petition that had been circulated at the store, signed by more than 50 workers. “This is our movement, we are capable of victory, and we are worth it.”

In addition to demanding the $5 wage increase, the petition raises issues about paid time off, hours and scheduling, safety and health, and a retirement plan.

A leaflet distributed to customers during Thursday’s job action said that a “2014 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that a worker in San Francisco must earn $29.83 an hour just to rent a one bedroom apartment in the City.  Even with a $15 an hour minimum wage on its way [in San Francisco], that is half of what a worker must earn…  It is simply NOT ENOUGH.”

After the rally, the crowd broke into the perennial chant, “We’ll be back!”

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period is a key time of the year for sales at Whole Foods, and a huge profit generator.

The November 14 deadline that workers have set is two weeks before Thanksgiving.  The IWW leaders say that workers will begin taking job actions if they don’t get a positive response from management by their deadline.

 

Whole paycheck

Whole Foods is a multinational chain specializing in what the company describes as natural and organic foods. The company has nearly 400 stores in the US, Canada and Great Britain, with $13 billion in annual sales, and 80,000 employees. Prices are high, which is why Whole Foods is colloquially known as the “whole paycheck” store. The company is headquartered in Texas.

This is not the first time that the Whole Foods Market on 4th Street has been the scene of labor action. Two years ago, there was a picket line at the store after a popular, long-standing worker – known for helping other workers in beefs with management – was terminated. That picket line also took place during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last Saturday evening, Whole Foods workers packed the IWW office in the Redstone Building at 16th and Mission Streets to strategize for the Thursday action. They made plans for the delegation and to get leaflets and picket signs together. They listened to a presentation about Whole Foods’ anti-union stance, heard a report from their legal advisor, and got words of encouragement from supporters.

The IWW has been around, in one form or another, since 1905. The union sets its aim high. The preamble to the IWW constitution reads: “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.  There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.”

The founder and CEO of Whole Foods is John Mackey, who describes himself as a “free market libertarian” who says he was a “democratic socialist” until he opened his first store.

Today, Mackey is a founder of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., which holds conferences and events targeted at CEOs and their “executive teams, entrepreneurs and the coaches and consultants who serve and support them,” and hawks Mackey’s book, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.

In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission took Whole Foods to court for violating federal antitrust laws in a proposed merger aimed at cornering the “premium natural and organic” supermarket business.  In the course of this action, the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation of Mackey when it became known that he had for years posted comments under an alias on a Yahoo financial forum boosting Whole Foods and slamming the company’s rivals. “I had fun doing it,” Mackey bragged.

Mackey’s mouth can run a little wild. He once told a reporter, “The union is like having herpes.  It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient.”

Just last June, Whole Foods agreed to pay an $800,000 penalty for overcharging customers, after an investigation by the city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Monica. The illegal actions included “failing to deduct the weight of containers when ringing up fresh food, putting smaller amounts into packages than the weight stated on the label, and selling items by the piece instead of the pound, as required by law,” according to the Los Angeles Times.  As part of the settlement, which applies to all stores in both Northern and Southern California, the company is required to have an employee at each store dedicated to insuring that pricing is correct.

CEO Mackey has in the past boasted that of “all the food retailers in the Fortune 500… we have the highest profits as a percentage of sales, as well as the highest return on invested capital.” The IWW workers at Whole Foods know full well that their labor is the source of that profit.

A few weeks ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an expected contender for the Republican nomination for President in 2016, grumbled to a Chamber of Commerce audience, “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage.”

Well, Governor Christie, workers are also tired of hearing about the minimum wage, especially the minimum part.  As much as an increase in the minimum wage is welcomed, we need a whole lot more than $10, $12 or $15 an hour to survive in the 21st century with any degree of dignity and respect.

Whole Foods’ current public relations slogan is “Values Matter.”  We will see in a few days whether or not this is just “conscious capitalism” rhetoric.

A call shortly after the action to Ryan Rosprim, the store manager, has not been returned as of press time.  A call and email to Whole Foods’ Northern California Press contact, Beth Krauss, has also gone unanswered.

Shortly after the action on Thursday, the workers’ new website at www.wfmunite.com went live.

Marc Norton has been a rank-and-file member of UNITE HERE Local 2, the San Francisco hotel, restaurant and culinary workers union, since 1976.  He is also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). In 2010, Norton was fired from his job as a bellman at Hotel Frank, now Hotel G. The story of the outcome of the fight at Hotel Frank/Hotel G has not yet been told. Norton’s website is www.MarcNorton.us.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
Sponsored link

234 COMMENTS

  1. Perbedaan Kutil Kelamin Dengan Jengger Ayam

    denature Indonesia yaitu sebuah perusahaan yang fokus dalam bidang obat herbal aman dan ampuh tanpa efek samping. obat kami sangat mujarab.

  2. Obat Herbal Alami Sipilis

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  3. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  4. Obat Herbal Untuk Wasir

    Wasir yaitu tonjolan di sekitar lobang dubur (anus) atau saluran dubur (rektum) akibat bendungan serta perluasan pembuluh balik (vena). Wasir yaitu kelianan yang umum berlangsung. Hubungi kami dinomer HP/WA/SMS : 087736573790 BB : D43D6B95

  5. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  6. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Obat Herbal Alami Denature Menyediakan berbagai macam produk sebagai alternatif kesehatan anda. untuk konsultasi dan pemesanan hubungi HP/WA: 087736766326 BBM: D39FE23

  7. IWW workers take on Whole Foods in SF – 48 hills

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  8. Anus Berdarah Gejala Wasir

    Wasir yaitu tonjolan di sekitar lobang dubur (anus) atau saluran dubur (rektum) akibat bendungan serta perluasan pembuluh balik (vena). Wasir yaitu kelianan yang umum berlangsung. Hubungi kami dinomer HP/WA/SMS : 087736573790 BB : D43D6B95

  9. IWW workers take on Whole Foods in SF – 48 hills

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  10. Mengatasi wasir yang kambuh

    Wasir yaitu tonjolan di sekitar lobang dubur (anus) atau saluran dubur (rektum) akibat bendungan serta perluasan pembuluh balik (vena). Wasir yaitu kelianan yang umum berlangsung. Hubungi kami dinomer HP/WA/SMS : 087736573790 BB : D43D6B95

  11. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  12. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  13. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Selangkangan

    Tanda-tanda paling utama penyakit scabies merupakan gatal pada kulit, lebih-lebih tambah buruk saat malam hari. Rasa gatal berlangsung dikarenakan reaksi alergi pada tungau. Berjalan dengan cara berkolompok seperti sudah dikatakan diatas. Tanda-tanda s…

  14. Gonore Pada Pria

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  15. Gonore Pada Pria

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  16. Gonore Pada Pria

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  17. Gonore Pada Pria

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  18. Gonore Pada Pria

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  19. Tips Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  20. Tips Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  21. Tips Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  22. Tips Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah

    Gonore adalah infeksi yang disebabkan oleh infeksi bakteri Nesseria gonorrhea yang biasanya ditularkan melalui hubungan seksual tanpa pengaman. Sebaiknya Anda mengunjungi dokter untuk berkonsultasi mengenai masalah ini dan mendapatkan pengobatan yang t…

  23. Cara Mengobati Selangkangan yang Gatal

    Berdasarkan penyebabnya, eksim atau dermatitis atopik terdiri dari berbagai macam, ada eksim alergi, eksim bawaan, eksim akibat stres, atau eksim karena kontak dengan bahan iritan seperti zat kimia, zat pelarut, sabun, deterjen, parfum, produk perawata…

  24. Obat Gatal Di Selangkangan Herbal

    Berdasarkan penyebabnya, eksim atau dermatitis atopik terdiri dari berbagai macam, ada eksim alergi, eksim bawaan, eksim akibat stres, atau eksim karena kontak dengan bahan iritan seperti zat kimia, zat pelarut, sabun, deterjen, parfum, produk perawata…

  25. obat gatal selangkangan di apotik

    Eksim atau dermatitis merupakan kondisi kulit yang menimbulkan rasa sakit, ruam, lepuhan, nanah dan perdarahan jika kondisi serius. Secara normal, eksim dapat diobati dengan pelembab atau krim steroid, tetapi jika keduanya tidak bekerja dengan baik And…

  26. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Bagian Selangkangan

    Eksim yang juga disebut sebagai eksema maupun dermatitis merupakan peradangan hebat yang kemudian menyebabkan terjadinya oembentukan gelembung kecil atau lepuh pada permukaan kulit sehingga pada akhirnya pecah lalu mengeluarkan cairan. Eksim sendiri di…

  27. Cara Mengatasi Gatal di Bagian Selangkangan

    Eksim yang juga disebut sebagai eksema maupun dermatitis merupakan peradangan hebat yang kemudian menyebabkan terjadinya oembentukan gelembung kecil atau lepuh pada permukaan kulit sehingga pada akhirnya pecah lalu mengeluarkan cairan. Eksim sendiri di…

  28. all Drone reView

    Right now, there are a ton of camera drones for sale, but the DJI Phantom 4 PRO is by far the most innovative. It can fly super fast. It�s very reliable. The HD live video streaming works better than any other drone out there. It�s super easy to set up…

  29. obat kelamin keluar nanah

    Wanita serta pria homoseksual yang lakukan jalinan sex lewat anus (anal seks) bisa menanggung derita gonore pada rektumnya. Pasien bakal rasakan tak nyaman di sekitaran anusnya serta dari rektumnya keluar cairan. Daerah di sekitaran anus terlihat merah…

  30. Penyakit Kulit Eksim

    Eksim atau Dermatitis adalah arti kedokteran untuk kelainan kulit, yang mana kulit terlihat meradang serta iritasi. Peradangan ini dapat berlangsung dimanapun tetapi yang seringkali terserang yakni tangan serta kaki. Type eksim yang seringkali didapati…

  31. Penyebab Keluar Nanah Pada Kemaluan Pria

    denature Indonesia yaitu sebuah perusahaan yang fokus dalam bidang obat herbal aman dan ampuh tanpa efek samping

  32. virus

    denature Indonesia yaitu sebuah perusahaan yang fokus dalam bidang obat herbal aman dan ampuh tanpa efek samping. obat kami sangat mujarab.

  33. WHOLE FOODS IWW FUNDRAISER and BANQUET

    Friday, December 12, 6pm til 9pm
    1243 Potrero Avenue at 24th Street
    San Francisco

    “Last month a group of courageous workers at Whole Foods in San Francisco announced their union to management and demanded a much-need wage increase for all Whole Foods workers. Taking on a corporate chain with 400 stores in three countries ain’t easy, but these workers have already won a wage increase for workers in San Francisco and have put the spotlight on Whole Foods’ doublespeak about social responsibility and the ‘happiness’ of their employees.

    “But the fight is far from over. The Whole Foods workers have vowed to pursue the full $5 an hour raise they demanded, and will be forging ahead for better scheduling policies, paid time off and more. They have come far in a short period of time BUT NEED YOUR HELP!

    “The fight at Whole Foods is the fight for a better life for all workers. The Industrial Workers of the World has a tested record of organizing workers with an eye toward organizing all workers as a class.

    “There will be speeches from the workers involved and we’ll be providing food and entertainment, so come prepared to donate! All money raised will go to the workers organizing fund. Let’s build a working class movement that can win, together!

    “Brought to you by Whole Foods Industrial Workers of the World and Advance the Struggle. Contact: (415) 985-4499 or wfmunite@gmail.com.”

    See also:
    http://www.WFMUnite.com

  34. It’s funny but when these people complain that the do not have as much money as they would like, they ALWAYS think that someone else should pay for it.

    It apparently never occurs to them to get a different job train for a better paid career, or take a risk and start a business.

    No, they’d rather demand a handout or a subsidy.

  35. You assume that there is an unlimited budget to pay for an unlimited amount of care. But of course that is not the case, and there have to be some limits to what can be sent on any individual case.

    Even in nations with socialized healthcare, they do not spend whatever it takes to save or prolong a life. Every resource you give to one patient has to be denied to another, hence the specter of death panels that so undermined the argument for the public option of ObamaCare.

    The real key is buying enough insurance, including insurance for nursing and hospice care. And if you don’t then you cannot expect the same care as those who do.

  36. Margarita,
    Your story rings very true. I know people in the business, and I can tell you it’s extremely lucrative, and the agency’s costs are very low. You might call it a racket. One of them actually got in for a very noble reason. His wife was dying, and she needed 24-hour care because she was completely disabled. But the insurance company only allowed for 8 hours a day. He was paying out of pocket and depleting his modest savings for another 8 hours, so he could go to work, and then coming home and doing the night shift himself. Can you imagine?

    But here’s the kicker: the insurance company was paying the HHA $22/hour for the aide, but the aides were only being paid $8. So he calls the insurance company, in desperation, and tells them, “I’m the HHA, pay *me* the $22!” But of course it’s not that simple. All the rules are there for the benefit of insurance companies, and the barriers for entry are very high. An ordinary person can’t just up and start an agency. Eventually though he found a way to navigate the system.

    Now mind you, the goal here wasn’t to pay the aides more, but to use the $22 to get the full coverage that the patient needed, in order to be able to prevent from losing his job and his savings and his house and going bankrupt.

    But that’s the nature of our system. Patients and their families get screwed. Health care workers get screwed. And big businesses get rich. The irony was that insurance would have covered 24 hour care if the patient were to be stuffed into a (much more expensive) nursing home, but that would’ve meant death. Perhaps it’s *because* the insurance company statisticians know that a disabled patient who gets to stay at home with the help of home health aides, on average lives much longer than one who gets stuffed into a nursing home. In an ideal system, they’d just cover the home health care that people really need and pay the aides a living wage. People would live longer, workers would be happier, and we might even save some money (although that should never be the goal of the health care system). Well instead, we have an ass-backwards system focused solely on the short term bottom line for the insurance company leeches, resulting in some of the worst outcomes for people in the developed world.

  37. Oh no, I am not going to steal our senior citizens life saving! A worker-owned coop is more like it, and I am going to support Senior Home Care Cost Accountability Act: “This measure would require private home care entities to spend at least 75 percent of their annual revenue on direct services costs, file cost reports with state agencies, and incur penalties and be subject to other enforcement actions for failure to comply with the measure’s provisions.”
    http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2013/130772.pdf

  38. My argument was only about the MINIMUM additional revenue that your work should generate in order to justify hiring you at $12 an hour.

    How much the agency can charge the client depends more on how much that client is willing to pay, and how much competition there is. I cannot comment on that, but clearly there is no maximum, theoretically.

    Your pay won’t rise above $12 an hour if there are other qualified people willing to work for that rate.

    Based on your example, it seems to me that there is an arbitrage opportunity here, and you should set up your own agency to compete. That would also have the effect of reducing the cost to the client. If you then want to pay your staff more than $12 an hour, you’d be free to do that if you are willing to get a lower level of profit.

  39. >> And bear in mind that the cost of employing you is considerably more than the pay you receive. You work probably need to generate $20 an hour in extra profit for it to be viable to hire you.

    Sam!
    If you are still here, we need your business expertise. Let’s run a case study!

    Last year I worked as a Home Health Aid for an agency. My pay was $12 per hour, 8 hours a day, 4 days a week. Another HHA worked other 3 days. My total monthly income (after taxes) was $1200 per month, and another HHA got about $900 per months according to my calculations. The agency charged our client $9,000 per month – I saw the parers, I didn’t make this sum up. How much profit do you think the agency made? In particular, I wonder about businesses expenses.

    Since I am not a business owner, I had to rely on Google search:

    “In preparing your personnel budget be sure to include allowances for Social Security/FICA (currently 6.2% on the first $90,000 of salary – www.ssa.gov), Unemployment/FUTA (6.2% on $7,000 of salary – http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/uitaxtopic.asp) and Medicare (1.45% with no salary cap –www.ssa.gov).  Workmen’s compensation premiums will depend on the category of your employee, with clerical at about 0.3% of salary and manufacturing at 7.5%.

    Benefits.
    Basic salary and employment taxes are a minimum- in most cases you will need to provide some benefits.”

    [since HHA don’t get any benefits, I’ll skip this part]

    “The costs to this point (basic salary, employment taxes and benefits) are typically in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range- e.g. the cost range for a $50,000/year employee might $62,500 to $70,000.”
    http://web.mit.edu/e-club/hadzima/how-much-does-an-employee-cost.html

    Let’s use 1.25 times as a benchmark, since once again, we don’t deserve any benefits. Our cost to the employer seems to be approximately $2100 * 1,25 = $2625 per month.

    We were working in our client home, so there was no equipment cost, no uniform cost, no training whatsoever, the agency didn’t even check my references or health, and since I was expected to start working “tomorrow” – literally the next day after I walked in their office – I doubt that any background check was run.

    In 4 months that we worked for the client, nobody from the Agency visited the client to check on us – not a single time.

    So how much do you think we cost our employer? And where did $9000 – 2625 = $6375 go?
    Is this how much profit – $6375 per month – the agency made?

    This is what I call “low-value employer”.
    There must be some other costs that I overlooked, though, could you guesstimate and share them?

    Another question: bases on the numbers about what was Agency’s gross margins?

    Here is a relevant quote:

    “The median initial investment required to open a single senior care franchise office in 2012 is $66,148, and the potential return on investment is significantly higher than many other franchise businesses,” noted FBR’s senior care franchises report. “It is not uncommon among the top senior care franchises to build gross revenues to a million dollars or more, with gross margins of 30 to 40 percent.”
    http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/home-care-franchises-are-hot-hot-hot-0

  40. If they don’t pay you enough go work somewhere else. Most of the people on this thread can’t spell or are incapable of either abstract or original thought. Fact is-unions are dead. They’re in the process of being told. Take the 11 bucks and be happy.

  41. Sounds like it is a trivial differential either way.

    In the end, the customer sees what he is getting and he is either happy or not happy. If he is not happy, he can decline the purchase.

    I see no problem here.

  42. David, the facts strongly suggest that Whole Foods’ illegal behavior was not a “mistake,” as you claim.

    Further, blaming Whole Foods illegal behavior on “human error” by cashiers is not consistent with the facts in this case. I have worked a cash register off and on for many years, and I take some offense at you pointing your finger at the worker on the line, instead of the boss who sets the conditions of our work.

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    “Problems included failing to deduct the weight of containers when ringing up fresh food, PUTTING SMALLER AMOUNTS INTO PACKAGES THAN THE WEIGHT STATED ON THE LABEL, and selling items by the piece instead of by the pound, as required by law…

    “Santa Monica Deputy City Atty. Adam Radinsky said that shoppers have a right to transparent pricing.

    “‘By adding the weight of containers and packaging, especially on higher-priced per-pound items like seafood and meats and EVEN PREPARED FOOD, the EXTRA CHARGES CAN ADD UP FAST, and yet be hidden from consumers.'”

    The EMPHASIS above is mine.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-whole-foods-20140624-story.html

  43. Greg, most of the time, the container weight is already deducted on weighted items. If it’s a scale item, it’ll read on the scale label – ‘Tare Weight’ or something to that effect somewhere, and should have a value – .02, .03, or whatever the weight of the container is. Depending on the company, either 1) It should be built in to their product code what tare to use, and the employee does not have to do anything, unless they use a different sized container; or 2) The employee should know which tare they need to use (they are supposed to have a chart showing them, behind the counter), and the scale will prompt them asking for the tare weight (or prompting them to put the container on the scale so that it will deduct the tare, prior to adding the food). Garnishes, such as lemon slices, are also supposed to be tared off, as well as little containers, like salad dressing containers, which is where things start to become complicated, and confuse workers.

    Cashiers are supposed to tare off any other weights that aren’t scale items, such as bulk goods, where you fill them yourself and container/bag sizes might vary. Meat items from a butcher counter should also have a small tare, for the paper they wrap the meat in, usually .01, or more if there’s other things like a meat soaker pad. It’s really a matter of untrained workers, or workers forgetting the tare they’re supposed to use and using the wrong one, or whathaveyou. Not grocery stores trying to squeeze out extra pennies. This only applies to items that are weighted, however. Items in containers that are sold as the each already have the container tare “built in” to the price, and as such, the weight of the container is not tared off. From what I understand, a lot of grocery stores are trying to get away from weighted items as much as they can, when they can, to avoid what really is just human error and confusion. Imagine being a cashier, and you’re brought up a plastic container with salad in it, and there’s parsley and lemon garnishes, and salad dressing containers, and the store uses 4 or 5 different sized containers that you need to remember, and you’ve got a line full of 10 people waiting. A lot of cashiers will just randomly pick a number, like .05, rather than trying to count up all the items that need to be tared. Then what happens if the tare is actually .06? The customer is being cheated. To alleviate, some companies just tell them to choose a number that they KNOW is well above the tare (like .10 on a .06 tare) just to save their butts. Then what happens? The company is losing money.

    There is less human error in selling items by the each. This likely explains how Whole Foods made the mistake of selling, I think it was kebobs, by the each, instead of by the pound. They probably didn’t want to have to deal with workers remembering to tare off the stick and whatever else.

    (I worked with County Weights and Measures for sometime – in California – I’m sure it’s different in other states).

  44. America is a land where people have always moved to better themselves. And not a place where people whine about getting a handout.

    So yes, if you are not happy with this city then moving is a very real option. Demanding a subsidy or to be paid more than you are worth is not.

  45. And If you lived here long before it became one of the most expensive places on the planet? And your friends, you community, you doctor and you job are all here? To bad. Just pick up and hope you can find something cheeper near a Bart station. Well, not without putting up a good fight.
    As to welfare, yes, thats what Walmart workers do, gat wefare. But why the hell should welfare be subsidising private corperations, when in the free market you crave, those places might not be able to get workers, because the salary simply dosn’t pay them sufficiently to maintain themselves.

  46. I believe the value added and what the wage slave gets paid is always less than the true added value. The difference between the two goes in the profit column. Jay, IWW x341968

  47. More on low value employers:

    “During the past month, the Brennan Center worked with several organizations to conduct spot surveys of both employers and workers in New York City, and found that:
    Out of 138 employers surveyed:
    Only 36% of independent stores knew the correct minimum wage.”
    http://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/wage-hike-risk-due-lack-awareness

    See also:

    Employers Steal $50 Billion A Year From Low-Wage Workers; Here’s Seattle’s Plan To Stop Them
    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/11/09/employers-steal-50-billion-a-year-seattle-wage-theft-plan/

    Minimum-Wage Workers Just Got a Raise, but Will Bosses Steal It?
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/188841/minimum-wage-workers-just-got-raise-will-bosses-steal-it#

    Pay Violations Rampant in Low-Wage Industries Despite Enforcement Effort
    http://www.fairwarning.org/2014/05/pay-violations-rampant-low-wage-industries-despite-enforcement-efforts/

    ===========

    – to steal from the poorest people whatever little they have??? Our so-called “job creators” have absolutely no shame. Time for pitchforks!

  48. David, as any good republican knows and as you are trying to demonstrate here:

    WFH is so controlled by union and public worker pension funds at the board level that the very notion or concept that they even have the choice to deny action by the IWW is purely theatre.

    Jah bless the “free” market. It warms sams little keyboard.

  49. “Sam” it is the American way to be humane.

    You are, in point of fact, particularly wrong on this occasion.

    As a fellow shareholder as i’m sure are many other commentators on this blog are by fact of their investments in retirement accounts and 401ks etc we can categorically correct you on this occasion.

    Wholefoods like many “modern” (you may need to consult a dictionary on the current didactic usage) businesses care deeply about the public perception and public regard for the pay, condition and treatment of their workers. (e.g. I don’t want a sick worker touching my produce that i feed my child)

    As hard as it may be for you and other “free market” libertarians to digest – the board and CEO of wholefoods answer to the control of the large union pension fund managers and the employees that they serve not only in the USA but around the world.

    Take a look at the global holdings in WFH and who they represent. You may be surprised. Socialists, unionists, workers and more.

    I await your deflective response.

  50. No, because a libertarian is happy to leave you alone and allow you to do whatever you want. A progressive wants a big governmet micro-managing you

  51. Yes Sam sounds like John Mackey. We know he likes to troll, and diminish the vast wealth he’s amassed from the sweat and pain of his employees. Solidarity from an east coast WF worker, lead the way fellow workers!

  52. “pay has to be ultimately set by the value you add, and not by the amount that your lifestyle aspires to.”

    But how much value does the employee add? I’ve read somewhere that the average worker in the U.S. adds about $45 per hour, yet seldom makes even half that.

    Seems with what they’re demanding that the WF’s employees are now short changing themselves.

  53. Having worked at a co op and knowing a fair number of Rainbow employees, there are various strains of useless with little entertainment value.

  54. IWW was founded in 1905, so they were hopelessly out of touch since 25 years before they existed? Hmm..

  55. Wow Sam, is this your 50th post on this article or what? Are you really just the CEO posting under an alias as mentioned in the article?

  56. Sam is a shill, probably Mackey or one his lackeys. Ignore him and keep moving forward – workers of the world unite!

  57. “There is no more pernicious idea than that pet theory of political economists about supply and demand; that things will regulate themselves, as water finds its own level. This is well enough for the inanimate world, but men are not sticks and stones; their social relations to each other cannot be regulated by the law of gravity… Organized action is the true policy of progress.” -Burnette Haskell

  58. Corporate policy will allow for local variation, because of the variable costs of different locations, as well as taxes etc. But yes, there must be guidelines and it is naive to think that the workers at this WF store can make more than their other stores in Sf.

    In fact I feel sure that staff move around as needed.

    Or get fired for being troublesome, no doubt 😉

  59. Yes. Worker co-op’s are fine for tiny enterprises like Rainbow (although even then, as you say, it tends to attract the weirder element).

    The problem is that the model doesn’t scale, and an enterprise cannot grow beyond a certain point without the corporate limited liability structure.

    Sure law firms and private equity firms can stay private as partnerships. But the individual partners can be held liable so it becomes too risky beyond a certain point.

    Rainbow cannot scale the way WholeFoods can.

  60. I suggest a spreadsheet, sorted by alphabetic topic, cross-reference by your quality rating, and available on all your mobile devices.

    You could call it “the wit and wisdom of Sam” or some such.

  61. Are the wages at Whole Foods not set by the main office? I would guess that if the store manager raised everyones wages he would be fired and then everyone’s wages would go back to what they were.

    IWW hopelessly out of touch since the 1880’s.

  62. I don’t think you understand what it is to boycott someone. It means you ignore their posts – not respond to them.

    See you at the next SF Republican Party meeting, right?

  63. It was certainly more at your level of comprehension. I get that.

    But commenting on posts that you admit to not reading isn’t very persuasive.

  64. Is it now official Republican Party policy to try and ban anyone who disagrees with them?

    I thought it was only left-wingers who did that.

  65. I didn’t read your long screed, troll. I’m sure it was the usual gibberish. Her point was a beautifully concise summary of a complex idea.

  66. First of all, why do so many 48 Hills commentors take Sam’s bait and let him run comment section as a crackpot libertarian Socratic dialogue? Sam is a huge waste of collective time. We need a BDS movement: Boycott, Divest, SAM. Ignore this world class jerk.

    As for Whole Foods, it has always struck me as a weirdly hybrid organization. A McDonald’s level corporate brand– each store identical, shopper expectations always satisfied– even down to the identical counter-cultural freaks with tats, ear hoops, wild hair colors, etc. So you have this strange melding of a culturally freaky staff with libertarian capitalist corporate structures, wild profit margins, the attempt to monopolize a market and drive out small fry competition, etc. And now the butchers thumb on the scale? Who’d a thunk?

    Is the staff freak show part of the plan? To titillate the Marin, Haight and Noe Valley demographic with a counter cultural carney show? I don’t shop at WF myself, just get coffee and use the free wifi when it’s convenient. I’m not one of the $100k types who can afford it.

    As for the IWW attempt to unionize… more power to them! The CEO considers unions like herpes, “unpleasant by won’t kill you?” Not necessarily. With some hard core Local 2 or SEIU type organizing the Wobblies might put a real crimp in the WF bottom line by exposing the fault lines and internal contradictions.

    Check out this NPR story on a grocery chain where the workers are striking to retain their CEO who runs the biz as a big family. Yes, paternalistic. But a much better model that the libertarian masquerading as a hipster. http://www.npr.org/2014/07/30/336570037/grocery-chain-workers-want-their-ceo-back

    Ultimately, worker co-ops are the way to go. But they’re hard work. Eternal vigilance against sloth and assholes is needed to keep a co-op going. Kinda like eternal vigilance and liberty when you think about it.

  67. She muttered a cliche, I have powerful arguments, and evidently you prefer a cliche.

    That must be your “experience” talking, right?

  68. I meant do you always speak in the first person plural as in for everyone else? What are you, a progressive?

  69. The American Way has a firm emphasis on individual effort and of course on capitalism.

    One dilemma of capitalism is that it is more profitable for me to pay my employees less. You may not like that but it is a reality.

    So yes, as a part owner in WholeFoods, I have no interest in their workers being paid more than the least they will work for.

    And if they leave, so be it. I am not a charity. I’m trying to build financial success and security just as much as those workers are. We are all in it for ourselves.

  70. Multiple complicated, competing and conflicting economic forces will interact and the outcome will be the net of their interactions?

  71. You are not wrong in saying:

    “First you must make me more for me than I am paying you. Second, you have to be cheaper than someone I could replace you with”

    That’s pretty much the gist of the search theory in labour market. But you should have realized, as a consequence, it’s possible that the pay can be well below the value of the worker for the similar reason that a good can be sold well above its cost.

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily the case here. Deeper analysis needs to be done to reach any conclusion. In fact, I’m more pissed that neither side is doing hard analysis. Want to raise minimum wage? Fine, but does anyone really know what will happen after that?

  72. Part of my income derives from the economic success of corporations I invest in. One of them happens to be WholeFoods. So if the workers extort more pay, the profit margins decline and my income goes down.

    Please list the other people that you do not know whom you hand over your income to.

  73. marcos, I did not interpret your attack on the bathing habits of Rainbow workers as an ad hominem attack on them. Only as an appeal for hygiene.

  74. Devolving all political discourse on every thread into an ad hominem attack against individuals or groups is uncivil.

  75. If WMF stock is down, perhaps the execs running it are incompetent and overpaid (“low value employers” as another commenter said). Since the execs are not unionized, the shareholders should vote to cut their pay.

  76. Nicely done. I appreciate this article, thanks. I once worked at Borders Books, and got demoted for trying to unionize at the Union Square bookstore.
    Any grocery workers reading this? PLEASE take a look at a new way of working – being a co-owner at a cooperative business that *fully* pays all your benefits and offers a generous food discount as well as a much higher starting pay than Whole Foods. Cooperatives offer much better job security, too.
    And guess what? At my cooperative, we are now hiring — a full-time co-owner at Other Avenues Food Cooperative, a fully worker-owned & thriving grocery business (40 years) in the Outer Sunset of SF. Please look us up, our hiring announcement is on the homepage! Or pass this along! Thanks for reading.

  77. Rainbow looks perfectly clean to me. If you think the clerks look scruffy, just grumble at them “get a haircut, kid!” or “get a shower, hippie!” That works every time.

  78. You have no sense of community. You think you live on an island where you don’t care what happens to other people and that they dont effect you in anyway. Guess what? you should care and they do effect you. This is our main problem with this city and nation. Left, right, brown, black, rich, poor etc. You should start caring about everyone being able to live a decent life. If people in general do better, we all do better.

    Be humane, Sam.

  79. That’s a little harsh, marcos. I would only describe their failure to bathe at an appropriate frequency as sub-optimal, and not uncivil.

  80. Your pay being set by the cost of replacing you is only true up to an extent. For instance, if you make me $15 an hour but it would cost $20 an hour to replace you, then that replacement cost is irrelevant because if you quit or asked for more pay, I would simply eliminate your position.

    First you must make me more for me than I am paying you. Second, you have to be cheaper than someone I could replace you with

    Nowhere in there does it matter what you think you need to live. Not my problem.

  81. I like the fact that shopping at Rainbow keeps my food dollars in our community instead of shunting them back to Wall Street. That is worth any extra price.

  82. Pay is not ultimate set by the value a worker adds. Your statement is the equivalent of saying the price of a product is set by the cost to produce it.
    Pay is determined by how difficult it is to find a replacement. Though it usually won’t be economical pay people higher than the value of their work, there’s nothing against paying them well below their value. That’s the economic foundation for the success of many labour movements.
    That said, I do share some of your sentiments. Workers need to understand raising minimum wage is not the silver bullet. There are at least the possibility of bad consequences.

  83. Geeze; good thing they didn’t fire up the protest at the Pac Heights WF on California & Franklin. SFPD hit squad would have showed up. Unemployment in SF is very, very low. If one does not find satisfaction with their employer, their compensation, work rules or work environment, they are 100% free to seek employment elsewhere.

  84. Y, I would not categorize Rainbow as being particularly cheap at all. Some things there are cheaper than WF, but some are more expensive.

    Overall there is not much in it – organic stuff is always more expensive and if you shop at Rainbow over Safeway’s, you are not worrying so much about cost.

    I prefer WF because I think the stores are cleaner, better organized and carry a broader range. For instance, Rainbow doesn’t sell meat or fish, and has hardly any beer and wine. Right there, that’s a good part of my shop.

    I also don’t like the rather self-absorbed and political attitude at Rainbow. I recall when they voted not to sell food sourced from Israel for political reasons. They later relented but I don’t need a political lecture when I go to buy some tomatoes, and especially not from some spotty kid with tattoos.

    Finally, I am shareholder in WMF and so naturally support them, and do not support egregious pay demand as well. WMF’s stock price is down from 63 to 45 in the last few months, so this is a bad time to ask for more pay. They may just close the store instead.

  85. I find Rainbow better and somewhat cheaper than WF. And of course people who work have better pay, because they don’t have to pay for CEO’s salaries and shareholders’ dividends.

    If Sam or anyone want to pay more for worse produce at ideologically purer store, all power to them. Tip: you can get cheaper prices for the same crappy produce at Safeway, whose politics are as libertarian as WF, minus the cutesiness and hype.

  86. I shopped at the original Whore Foods back when it was at 11th and Lamar in Austin, prior to the historical great flood of 1981 when Wheatsville Food Coop did not carry what I needed.

    But once I realized that their produce section was mostly commercial and when the CEO came out as a libertarian, I began to boycott Whore Foods except when I’m in the sticks like Vegas headed out camping in the desert, and the other options could be much worse.

    Once they found maggots at the Potrero WF meat section, locally sourced maggots lovingly hand crafted in small batches by heirloom flies, I exed them off of my list.

  87. Not much any more, marcos. Back when I lived over that way, it was convenient, however. But I was never much of a fan of their politicization of food, and it’s all a tad too precious for my liking.

    So I shop at WholeFoods mostly these days. So does Greg, apparently, so I know it must be PC to shop at WholeFoods.

  88. If they don’t, then remind them to do so. No big deal.

    (And what are they ‘discriminating’ against? The horns on your head?)

  89. Your pay is a matter between you and your employer. I don’t care how much or how little you get paid, because it isn’t my concern.

    What I am inviting you to see is that your pay ultimately has to be related to the profit you generate and not how much you think you need to live, which may be more or less than you get paid.

    Work on delivering more value and profit, and your pay will go up. But begging for more just because you think you want it won’t work, and should never work. That is what charity and welfare are for.

  90. “Among the co-op members who testified was Yadira Fragoso, whose wages rose to $25 an hour—up from $6.25—after becoming a worker-owner at Si Se Puede, a cleaning co-op incubated by the Brooklyn-based Center for Family Life.”
    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-end-of-poverty/how-america-s-largest-worker-owned-co-op-lifts-people-out-of-poverty

    $6.25 became $25 – is this how much our bosses steal from their workers? If the minimal wage was $1 per hour, Sam would say that that’s exactly the value we add to his business, and simply pocket other $10.

  91. The “value” statement was not a reference to any personal value you have or feel as a human being. It is a reference to the monetary value that can be placed upon the fruits of your labor.

    Your employer will have an idea of how much additional profit they will make from an hour of your labor, and pay you accordingly. If they pay you less than the profit you earn, you are not viable.

    Another factor is how easy and cheap it is to replace you with another worker.

    And bear in mind that the cost of employing you is considerably more than the pay you receive. You work probably need to generate $20 an hour in extra profit for it to be viable to hire you.

    The best way to increase your income is to study more, develop better paid skills, work harder or take a risk and strike out on your own. The worst way is to whine at others to give you more even when you don’t produce more.

  92. Wait, so it is being discriminatory if I refuse to pay you more than the value that you add to my enterprise?

    That’s a good one, but I do not think that being a low value worker puts you into a protected class.

  93. What do you care? Seems like you can afford discrimination.

    You certainly seem to expect everyone else to accept discrimination when it comes to making a living wage and staying in their homes.

  94. Actually, Rainbow deducts tare weight from the price of products purchased in bulk containers. Troll is wrong again.

  95. If the value your work add, in terms of additional profit to your employer, is (say) $12 an hour, then clearly you cannot sustainably be paid more than that. If I do pay you more than that, then my business will lose money and eventually you will have no job.

    Seems to me that welfare should be picking up any difference between your value and how much you need.

    And if you really cannot find work that pays enough for you to live in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, then maybe your decision to live here should be questioned.

  96. I didn’t know you had to deduct the weight of containers by law. I’ve been overcharged that way many times, even when I asked about it. Nice to know that the law is on my side. From now on I will insist.

  97. People should be able to live in their homes. If anyone has to leave their home because they’re not being paid enough to afford to live there, then they’re not being paid enough. You say Whole Foods already pays well- that’s not an endorsement of WF, but an even greater indictment of the rest of the jobs available. Perhaps other San Francisco food and retail workers should considering joining up with the IWW to raise wages and improve working conditions across the board.

  98. The IWW makes a big deal about what it costs to live in SF. That may be true but ignores two important factors”

    First, there is nothing to say that a SF worker has to live in SF. The downtown WholeFoods, in particular, is easily accessible by BART.

    Second, pay has to be ultimately set by the value you add, and not by the amount that your lifestyle aspires to.

    WF’s pay rates are above average for retail, but if these workers think they can do better, they should leave. The fact that they do not do so tells me they are paid adequately.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored link

Top reads

After more than a century, PG&E is finally on the ropes in San Francisco

The city's moving to establish a public-power system—but we should also talk about accountability for the politicians and media that enabled an illegal monopoly for so long.

Lydia Lunch is still kicking against the pricks

A wild interview with the no-holds-barred No Wave icon, in town for the debut of her new documentary

Find the corn dog of your dreams at the refreshed Dogpatch Magnolia pub

Plus some can’t miss new beers along with the fully revamped menu

More by this author

What does a Just Recovery look like in San Francisco?

Join us to discuss a community-based agenda for economic, racial, and climate justice in the San Francisco of the future.

Muni director talks about cutting lines and changing focus

Post-COVID plans could alter the city's transportation policy in some profound ways.

SF to pay $8 million after cops framed an innocent man for murder

Plus: An urban farm in the Portola, and shadows on two city parks ... That's The Agenda for July 26-August 1.
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED