""We want to inspire change—systematic change," he added. "Particularly in a city that's expensive, we can't fall back on poverty wages.""

Hey, Stranger, let's make it a point now to talk more to Dan Arnett than some of the other Important Local Owners who've dominated this conversation.
Outstanding. I support businesses that choose to do this.

It works, provided that consumers also have the means, and exercise the will, to by-pass merchants selling the same good or service for less.

The reason that all these minimum wage jobs exist is because consumers have a price ceiling for each good and service. If I can get a breakfast sandwich for $1.99, McD's can have my $1.99. If McD's charges $2.99, because labor, and other costs require it, then I'll go to Burger King, who's cost don't demand it. If both their cost structures demand $2.99, then I'll eat at home.

Without any government regulation, all workers could be paid $30 an hour, if people would vote for a $30/hr wage with their money, the same way they vote for a government imposed wage at the ballot box. Consumers don't, which raises questions about their sincerity when they choose one way in the ballot box, but choose inconsistently with that when the choose where and how to spend their money.
I wonder what the average cost of two bags of goods from Central Co-Op is vs. Safeway.
"...annual net income of about 1 percent..."

What does this mean? Are you referring to profit?

It's not technically profit, since it's a co-op, but yes. And that is quite in line with chain grocery stores. Grocery is a notoriously low margin business.

If you are comparing apples to apples, it's right about the same. You can't get a lot of the items Central Co-op carries at Safeway, since Safeway shelves are crowded with crap. One of the best things about shopping at the co-op is that they pre-vet their food. You don't spend as much time worrying about ingredients, whether food is organic, etc. It's not perfect, but pretty close. So if you are trying to compare a shitty, factory produced turkey on sale at Safeway with the heritage, local, humanely raised bird at Central co-op, Safeway will be cheaper. If you are comparing organic milk to organic milk, it's pretty similar.
I'm still hoping the higher MW will drive Liberty and its shit companion restaurants out of town.
@5, thanks. Guess I'm wondering from the standpoint of someone who has very little money, and therefore won't be buying the grass-fed steaks and organic milk.
@3, the cost of milk at PCC co-op or Whole Foods is 2 to 3 times what it is at Safeway and yet the milk molecules are identical. There may be additional molecules in the milk at Safeway but those molecules don't detract from the nutritional value, or is there proof that they are human hazard. That is generally true across the board according to Consumer Reports.

That said, I have no problem with people choosing organic and paying the huge price premium at PCC and Whole Food for doing so, if they can afford to and choose to. But the government does not take away the right of people to choose more inexpensive goods by regulating the cost of production either, absent some harm to consumers. I also have no problem with Safeway getting driven out of business if consumers are so set on organic that they won't buy non-organic goods.

I also choose not to shop at Wal-Mart because I think better labor policies and pay are important enough to pay more at other retailers. But the fact that Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and the largest employer in the U.S. tells me that the vast majority of my fellow citizens don't agree with my point of view. If they did, Wal-Mart would tank and only retailers like Costco, that pay workers well, would exist.
Good for Central Co-op. The anti-Meinert/Friedman voice on Capitol Hill.

@8: Choosing to buy milk at PCC is not just about nutritional value, it's also about factory farming, fair labor standards and buying local (both dairy and grocery).

Also, fuck Whole Foods. They do not belong in the same sentence as PCC and Central Co-op.
Maybe now that wages are improving at Central Co-op, the quality of customer service will also improve (perhaps that's what they mean by "productivity" increases).

Historically, it seems like many of the people who work at the CC believe that part of their compensation is the right to be self-righteous with their customers. After a particularly bad interaction at the deli counter 8-10 years ago, I stopped going there entirely for the next 5-6 years. Since then, I go there as little as possible.

I miss the Rainbow Grocery.
This is a PR Stunt pure and simple. If they believed that people need $15 hr to live. They could've did that last year, or the year before.
Good News!

Only people who h8 AMERICA and want us weak and indentured servants to their Chinese & Saudi masters would oppose this.

@10 maybe you receive bad customer service because you aren't the best customer? One of the benefits to shopping at an independent retailer, is that the workers aren't told to be robots and are allowed to be real human beings. Shocking I know.

@11 Seeing as the co-op is a union shop, they had to wait out the remaining contract before negotiating a wage increase.

This is a good thing that is happening for good hard-working people. Try not to shot all over it.

One dollar, one vote. Plutocracy! Why didn't we think of trying that first?
Central Co-op is awesome. I feel so lucky to have it in my neighborhood.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.