Published on: March 3, 2022
With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• C&S Wholesale Grocers, as it celebrates the return of the Grand Union banner, opening 11 Grand Union stores in New York and Vermont, also is bringing the Piggly Wiggly banner to the northeastern US, with a store in Watertown, New York.
In a statement, Bob Palmer, C&S's CEO, said, "We are very excited to bring this beloved brand to New York. Piggly Wiggly has been an icon in the supermarket industry since its first store opening in the 1900s. When we purchased the 12 stores that became available due to the Tops Markets merger with Price Chopper/Market 32, we immediately knew that this location was the right opportunity to enter the Northeast market and showcase why this is a supermarket that creates braggingly happy customers."
• From the New York Times:
"Workers at Starbucks stores in Buffalo are accusing the company of retaliating against union supporters by telling some of them they may have to leave the company if they cannot increase their work availability.
"At least five of the cases have arisen at a store that unionized in December, though union supporters at other Buffalo-area stores report similar conversations with managers, frequently but not always involving pro-union employees. The company denies any connection between the scheduling issues and union activities and says the matter is strictly logistical.
"The tensions indicate how labor relations are playing out after initial successes in unionizing company stores. None of Starbucks’s roughly 9,000 corporate-owned stores in the United States were unionized before early December, but three have unionized since then, and workers at more than 100 stores across the country have filed for union elections."
• From the Wall Street Journal:
"Amazon.com Inc. workers at a second company facility in New York will vote on a union, escalating one of a growing list of labor battles for the e-commerce giant.
The National Labor Relations Board has told labor representatives they have demonstrated enough support among employees to hold an election on whether to unionize an Amazon facility named LDJ5 in New York’s Staten Island, according to labor organizers and the company.
"Organizers had already won the right to hold a vote at a different facility in Staten Island, scheduled for between March 25 and 30. To move forward with an election, union organizers typically have to prove they have gained signatures from at least 30% of workers at a facility."
• From the New York Times:
"Workers at an REI store in New York City voted to unionize on Wednesday, creating the only union at the outdoor-equipment and apparel retailer. The vote, which took place at the store, was 88 to 14.
"The balloting, in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, followed a string of unionization efforts at high-profile employers in the service industry. Workers at three Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since early December, creating the only union at stores owned by the company. Workers at two Amazon warehouses will finish voting in union elections at the end of the month.
"REI, with about 170 stores and 15,000 employees nationwide, is a cooperative owned by customers who buy lifetime memberships, currently $30, and brands itself as a progressive company, in the vein of Starbucks. Its website says that the cooperative believes in 'putting purpose before profits' and that it invests more than 70 percent of its profits in 'the outdoor community,' including contributions to nonprofit organizations."