Comments

3

Other Trader Joe's stores are open. Just went to one yesterday in ballard before i found out about this article.

4

@1: Brace yourself for an anti-climatic melancholy.

5

@3 Good for you. I don't have a car and that TJ's was in walking distance. The next closest one for me is In Queen Anne and would require a 40 min trip on public transit. There are other store options in my area and TJ isn't even the only one I frequent, but the closure does suck because they have certain items other stores don't carry, or offer at higher prices.

Aside from that, it's clear that TJ corporate doesn't give a shit about its employees or the community. They were slow to respond to employee pandemic concerns as well and have aggressive anti-union efforts. At least Safeway and QFC are both unionized. (And yes, I recognize my privilege and hypocrisy in continuing to shop there while lambasting their anti-union actions. I do so for the reasons mentioned above.)

6

Capitalism marches on.

8

Half The Stranger readers shop at TJs, so this is awkward

9

Imagine having put your life's efforts - taking out school loans, late night studying, skipping weekend and holiday celebrations, missing out on time with friends - all so that you could be FORCED to work at a grocery store. THEN finding out the grocery store management is heartless and racist. THEN - like having salt blasted into a wound - not being able to coerce the heartless, racist grocery store management to reopen so that you could be forced back to work for those horrible people.

The courage displayed by these anonymous workers is truly inspiring!

How ignorant this TJ's management must be not to recognize how fortunate they are having the privilege to force these lovely individuals to work for a company they revile so much!

10

"Dear Management, dozens of employees scheduled to work will not be showing up because we're going to participate in a political march."

"Uh......um, we can't keep the store open if you do that."

"We're doing it."

"Ok, we'll have to close."

"What's this I hear about closing?"

"We had a few dozen employees tell us that they're not showing up tomorrow because they want to participate in a march."

"We can't operate a business like that." click

You reap what you sow. One day of notice is unacceptable if you're going to walk out en masse. Welcome to the food desert of your making.

11

As a Trader Joe’s employee of 5 years, working at 3 stores, filling in at 6 stores (one of them being Capitol Hill), I can say that much of this is pure speculation, much of it flat out lies. All I can think is they found a few disgruntled employees to interview for this article and pass their opinions off as the truth. First of all, Trader Joe’s was one of the first grocery stores to start implementing safety measures, hazard pay, paid sick leave if showing Covid symptoms, and allowing voluntary leaves of absence with no disciplinary actions. And on top of all that, they recently announced continued hazard pay through the end of the year (most grocery chains have already stopped that) and are also making insurance available to every employee instead of only those who meet the minimum hour requirements. I can say that the vast majority of TJs employees absolutely do not want unionization because we already get treated and paid better than most other grocery store chains, union or not. I also know that Trader Joe’s have been shutting down stores in cities with a lot of protesting just to ensure the safety of its employees- paid days off mind you (I know the Minneapolis area stores all closed during the initial protests). So before any more conjecture, I will wait and see what corporate says.

13

@5: Aside from that, it's clear that TJ corporate doesn't give a shit about its employees or the community.

@11: First of all, Trader Joe’s was one of the first grocery stores to start implementing safety measures, hazard pay, paid sick leave if showing Covid symptoms, and allowing voluntary leaves of absence with no disciplinary actions.

No @5, it certainly isn't clear.

14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0kQHvv7kjA

15

@11 "All I can think is they found a few disgruntled employees to interview for this article and pass their opinions off as the truth."

Your phrasing makes it should like a Stranger hit piece. Did you even read it? They didn't interview anyone. This is straight factual reporting of the events: text of sign, link to post showing that Cap Hill residents were "confused," reporting on the TJ employee website and petition with a brief summary, full text of the employee statement.

There are newspaper articles and other sources that elaborate on the TJ anti-union efforts as well as their initial lackluster Covid response. (I found numerous just by searching "trader joe's anti-union," take your pick.) Most of these cite anonymous employees. You are also an anonymous employee commenting here. Not sure why anyone should believe you over those other ones.

I /hope/ this is a corporate hissy fit and they will reopen on Monday, for the sake of the workers and the community.

16

^ Sound, not should. /sigh/

17

@11,

Can you tell management to please stop discontinuing al of your best items asap? Most urgently, you all need to bring back the red grapefruit juice and Mission Street pale ale(s), though there are a shitload others.

18

Also, good luck in finding something resembling a resolution that brings everyone back to work soon. I've heard from reliable sources that it's probably among the best retail jobs out there, though that's a pretty low bar to clear (not talking shit on retail either. You should just be able to lead a decent life and retire comfortably by way of working such a job, and I'm not convinced even you can do so.)

20

They’re owned by Germans. What do you expect?

21

I expect them to have a strong labor union and extensive benefits, plus high health and saftey standards. Oh, and 24 days paid vacation. Oh, oh! And an earnest and deep examination of their past racist crimes.

22

@9- that's ALOT of projection. Liberal arts degree not working out for you?

23

@9- sorry, missed the sarcasm.

25

@20: Efficiency, orderliness, beer, torte, riesling, edelweiss, what else?

26

@24 -- It is pretty common for big business to "send a message" to labor. If you look at it in isolation, it makes no sense. Why close down a store that is making money? But if you look at it nationally, it becomes clear to workers that they better fall in line. It is cold blooded, but businesses often operate this way, especially in an industry that lacks governmental control, and is monopolistic.

A similar example explains why Seattle no longer has a basketball team. The new owner wanted to move the team to Oklahoma. At first glance, this seemed stupid. Oklahoma City is a much smaller market than Seattle. It has obviously hurt overall revenue. However, there are a couple reasons why it was approved. First, the owners wanted the rights to do whatever the hell they pleased with the team. Second, it sent a message to all of the cities -- either accommodate the owners or lose your team. This was more important the revenue loss. Worth noting that only two owners voted against the move, Paul Allen (for obvious reasons) and Mark Cuban (for the reasons mentioned). The logic behind the vote did not go unnoticed. Will Brinson from the FanHouse Blog wrote this:

"This is a pretty aggressive move by the NBA owners ... Allowing Clay Bennett to truck the Sonics out of Seattle gives them ridiculous precedent (of the non-legal variety right now) to demand new facilities and upgrades for other teams in various cities simply by threatening relocation."

27

The control Seattle’s rights movement wants over business/people/organizations requires more authoritarianism and less personal freedom. sounds a lot like the way President Trump wants to exert control. It all depends on the taste of the boot one chooses to lick.

28

So, the theory is that a for-profit corporation made a snap-judgment to permanently close a location out of spite?

29

@28:

Wouldn't be the first time such a threat has been made by an employer:

https://www.jwj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/UROCUEDcompressedfullreport.pdf

30

So much virtue signalling, so little factual information.


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