October 22, 2003


Southern California supermarket workers are on strike, primarily for their health care benefits. As a former member of the United Auto Workers, I'm happy to support my union brothers by staying away from Ralphs and Vons. Still gotta eat, though, so there's 99 Ranch Market with their non-union ethnic employees, Whole Earth Foods with their non-union, non-ethnic employees (with the prices to compensate for the cute white checkout girls), and the farmers' market with no employees at all. Hit Target, too, to pick up some Ziploc reusable containers that I needed because I left all the Rubbermaid containers at home. Ralphs' Double Coupon policy would've came in handy, though.

The supermarkets' excuse for breaking off contract talks was the threat of WalMart SuperCenters and their low (labor) costs. I'm sure the CFOs are horrified at the thought of $17.90 per hour for a grocery worker. Heck, most regular folks are probably horrified at the thought of a grocery clerk making anything close to $20 an hour, not to mention health benefits. After all, the free market dictates that anyone who can't afford health insurance should just die already. The union is probably going to lose on this one, anyway, as nobody will sympathize with overpaid bag boys when their own jobs are under pressure. Clearly everyone would be much happier if all the employees were paid like WalMart associates. It'll be like Communism without all the perks.

Posted by mikewang on 04:09 PM