Archive for November, 2016

Trying to Kill Jobs?

UFCW is supporting a ballot measure in Oregon to hike business taxes by $3 billion, the largest tax hike in state history. According to a government report, the regressive tax would likely lower incomes, raise prices, and kill jobs.

Measure 97 would be the biggest tax increase in Oregon’s history, generating an estimated $3 billion a year for public education and other state services.

The initiative would levy a 2.5 percent tax on many companies’ Oregon sales over $25 million. But Measure 97 exempts some types of businesses and applies differently to others…

Economists say how much businesses pass along would depend on their market power. Cable television companies, for example, may pass along much of the cost. Private utilities such as Portland General Electric have regulated monopolies and a legal right to pass along higher costs – including taxes – to ratepayers.

Other states exempt wholesalers from consumption and sales taxes, or they tax wholesale trade at a lower rate. Because Measure 97 does not, some economists expect a “pyramiding” effect in which added costs are stacked atop one another for some products and services.

Conventional sales taxes in other states usually exempt food from taxation. Measure 97 does not. So if businesses do pass along higher costs, it could produce higher grocery bills.

The legislative study — which was based on an approximation of Measure 97 — concluded it would both dampen wage growth and raise prices.

UFCW is supporting a ballot measure in Oregon to hike business taxes by $3 billion, the largest tax hike in state history. According to a government report, the regressive tax would likely lower incomes, raise prices, and kill jobs. Measure 97 would be the biggest tax increase in Oregon’s history, generating an estimated $3 billion a year for […]






UFCW Weakened Itself

The UFCW’s 2004 strike against California grocery store chains damaged the unionized stores and helped non-union grocery stores. And in the process of weakening the grocery chains, the union weakened itself.

They [Aldi and Whole Foods] took advantage of a grocery landscape that has been in upheaval since the 141-day work stoppage and lockout, which cost Ralphs and Albertsons $1.5 billion in sales and helped retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target expand their grocery aisles.

“That last time, it increased the opportunities for other chains geometrically,” said Burt Flickinger III, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. “The unionized operators, and the unions, were hit so hard financially.”

Since then, the big chains have hemorrhaged market share. In 2004, Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons/Pavilions (which was acquired by Albertsons in 2014 as part of its Safeway purchase) held nearly 60% of the Southland’s grocery trade, according to the Strategic Resource Group. That share has plunged to about 33% today.

These days, Unified Grocers Inc. in the City of Commerce, a wholesale cooperative which mainly serves independent stores, controls 16.6%, according to the Shelby Report, which tracks the industry. Wal-Mart is right behind with 11%, followed by Stater Brothers at 8.9% and Trader Joe’s with 6.2%.

A strike presents an opportunity to grocers to break the shopping habits of consumers. Once someone flees to another chain, they often don’t go back, analysts said.

The UFCW’s 2004 strike against California grocery store chains damaged the unionized stores and helped non-union grocery stores. And in the process of weakening the grocery chains, the union weakened itself. They [Aldi and Whole Foods] took advantage of a grocery landscape that has been in upheaval since the 141-day work stoppage and lockout, which […]






Harming their Company

UFCW members asked their community to boycott their stores because the negotiation process was taking longer than they liked.

A strike by local grocery workers could be on the horizon, but for now, those workers don’t want you stepping foot in their San Diego-area stores.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 are boycotting area stores. Picketing began outside at least five stores this week…

A UFCW Local 135 spokeswoman said 14,000 union members could go on strike in roughly two weeks…

Regarding the UFCW Local 135’s contract demands, [Albertson’s Carlos] Illingworth said: “We’re dealing with complex issues, such as wages, pensions and healthcare. We’re bargaining in good faith and giving negotiations the time and thought that they deserve. We are working hard to find a settlement that is fair to our employees, good for our customers and allows our company to remain competitive.”

UFCW members asked their community to boycott their stores because the negotiation process was taking longer than they liked. A strike by local grocery workers could be on the horizon, but for now, those workers don’t want you stepping foot in their San Diego-area stores. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 are boycotting […]






UFCW Loses Again

An appeals court in California recently affirmed a trial court’s permanent injunction prohibiting the UFCW from trespassing in Walmart stores. In 2012 and 2013, the union had been harassing Walmart by staging demonstrations both inside and outside the company’s stores in California. Interestingly, the union admitted that its actions violated federal law. The union will now have to pay the legal costs Walmart incurred on the appeal.

An appeals court in California recently affirmed a trial court’s permanent injunction prohibiting the UFCW from trespassing in Walmart stores. In 2012 and 2013, the union had been harassing Walmart by staging demonstrations both inside and outside the company’s stores in California. Interestingly, the union admitted that its actions violated federal law. The union will […]