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  1. #1
    Kestrel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default $4 pay increase for grocery workers in Seattle...

    Seattle has required a $4 per hour pay increase for grocery store workers. Some other areas are doing similar things. To be clear - they are not providing this money, just telling companies they must pay it. (While not permanent, there is no set time frame. It seams to based on the Gov's closure mandates. So, it could be eight weeks, or three months, or six months - whatever the Gov decides.) What do you think?

    Two Kroger-owned stores have already been closed in another area (Long Beach, I think?), most likely permanently. A former co-worker has been told that if this isn't withdrawn by Monday, her store will have to lay off 10% of the staff and cut hours for another 20%. While I understand the urge to help grocery store workers, I think this will have more bad points than good. Telling a company that they must suddenly increase their labor cost - by a lot, 20% or more in some cases - will only cause either layoffs, price hikes or store closings. Some of the huge companies may be able to do it, but will they? I heard Trader Joe's may even expand it to cover more areas. But in my opinion, I think it will harm the very people they are trying to help.

    And, of course, I think the best thing we can do for grocery workers at this point is get them vaccinated.

  2. #2
    liz is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    This is a tough one. On one hand, I am all for these front line workers getting a higher wage. Wages starting at $7.25 an hour, so that means you are taking home about $5 an hour? That's not a sustainable living wage. I saw a study that showed that most of these workers are adults with families, I just don't know how they can manage on such low wages. But making the decision to raise wages immediately and unilaterally with no real planning or notice is very poorly done.

  3. #3
    LBW is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Doesn't Kroger's CEO make ~$20 million a year? Seems like if they tried, they could find the money to cover a $4/hour increase somewhere other than from the lowest paid employees.

    I completely understand that it's hard for a company to make an abrupt change like this, but to cry poor when execs make unreasonable salaries is pretty lame.
    Tara
    living a crazy life with 3 boys

    I am thinking now
    of grief, and of getting past it;
    I feel my boots
    trying to leave the ground,
    I feel my heart
    pumping hard. I want
    to think again of dangerous and noble things.
    I want to be light and frolicsome.
    I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
    as though I had wings.

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  4. #4
    LBW is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    duplicate post
    Tara
    living a crazy life with 3 boys

    I am thinking now
    of grief, and of getting past it;
    I feel my boots
    trying to leave the ground,
    I feel my heart
    pumping hard. I want
    to think again of dangerous and noble things.
    I want to be light and frolicsome.
    I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
    as though I had wings.

    ~Mary Oliver

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBW View Post
    Doesn't Kroger's CEO make ~$20 million a year? Seems like if they tried, they could find the money to cover a $4/hour increase somewhere other than from the lowest paid employees.

    I completely understand that it's hard for a company to make an abrupt change like this, but to cry poor when execs make unreasonable salaries is pretty lame.
    Exactly this!


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  6. #6
    o_mom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBW View Post
    Doesn't Kroger's CEO make ~$20 million a year? Seems like if they tried, they could find the money to cover a $4/hour increase somewhere other than from the lowest paid employees.

    I completely understand that it's hard for a company to make an abrupt change like this, but to cry poor when execs make unreasonable salaries is pretty lame.
    Think about that, though... If Kroger has 200,000 hourly employees, $20 million would only cover a $4 raise for those employees for 25 hours. Less than a week. Even looking at all of their profits, it would not be a long-term solution. Grocery store margins are incredibly thin, and most stores are covered by union contracts. We are also talking about CA where minimum wage is already $14/hr (ETA: or Seattle with $15/hr).

    I guess I'm a little skeptical of this "targeted increase" when there are plenty of other essential workers at much higher risk that are not going to see a benefit from this. Seems like a bit of a headline grab.
    Last edited by o_mom; 02-05-2021 at 11:58 AM. Reason: add detail
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  7. #7
    Kestrel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    OP here. Seattle has a $15/hour minimum wage.

  8. #8
    o_mom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    OP here. Seattle has a $15/hour minimum wage.
    I was thinking about the store closings in Long Beach mentioned, but yes - Seattle is at $15 already.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  9. #9
    Kindra178 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    What about the smaller stores that canít afford this?


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  10. #10
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kindra178 View Post
    What about the smaller stores that canít afford this?


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    Yes to this exactly. Maybe the bigger stores can swallow this and keep going but smaller, locally-owned stores will either have to lay people off or go out of business. Which means that Joe worker gets more money but will end up doing the work of 2 people.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

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