retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports on how Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, locked in a contentious re-election battle, has decided to stake out an anti-Whole Foods position as one way of gaining and/or solidifying support, especially among organized labor.

According to the story, "McGinn sparked the Whole Foods controversy when he sided with the grocery workers union and ordered the Seattle Department of Transportation to recommend denial of a key alley vacation needed for the project to move ahead. McGinn argues the project by the nonunion store will drag down worker wages and argues the city should use its powers to force the company to boost its pay. Whole Foods says McGinn’s salary information is inaccurate."

Several of McGinn's opponents have criticized his actions, saying that they are purely political, and, in the words of one, "subverted an impartial process to pursue his own advancement." And, in fact, three days after McGinn issued his orders to the Department of Transportation, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), endorsed his re-election campaign; the UFCW says it has more than 6,000 members living in Seattle.

The story also notes that several of McGinn's opponents said the mayor was hypocritical for "singling out Whole Foods while not raising the same issue when granting recent street vacations to nonunion Amazon.com in South Lake Union."

McGinn's response: "The city is under no obligation to sell public property to a company that will depress wages and benefits for workers at existing grocery stores in the same neighborhood. This city is fortunate in that we are growing and prospering, but too many people are left out of that prosperity."

Just FYI...the Seattle Department of Transportation website says that "the term Street Vacation refers to the process where an individual (who owns property adjacent to the right-of-way) can petition the City Council to acquire public right-of-way for private use. Public right-of-way is any property where the City has a right to use the land for street purposes whether or not the right-of-way has ever been improved."

The final decision will be made by the Seattle City Council later this year.
KC's View:
What a crock.

This is nothing but a cheap, obvious, political maneuver to buy some votes. It is offensive on virtually every level. And I would suggest to the union that as easily as this clown can pander to you, it will be just as easy to screw you down the road.

I hope the citizens of Seattle are smart enough to see this for what it is.

Though, at least he isn't texting pictures of his private parts to women and calling himself "Carlos Danger." Or going to rehab for two weeks because of a pattern of sexual harassment of city employees.

So that's something.