Monday, August 12, 2013

Teamster employer causes Walmart nightmares

Walmart's worst nightmare.
WinCo, a Teamster employer, is described by retail analysts as "Walmart's worst nightmare." Not only can WinCo undercut Walmart on price, but it treats its workers well.

Imagine that.

Brother Dale Varney brought the story to our attention. The Teamsters already represent two WinCo distribution centers in Woodburn, Ore., and Modesto, Calif. He's helping to organize WinCo workers in Boise, Idaho. The Boise-based company owns about 100 grocery stores, mostly in the West.

Here's how WinCo describes itself:
We are The Supermarket Low Price Leader®, proudly offering 24 hour service at each of our WinCo stores for your convenience. Incredibly low prices, great quality, a vast selection, excellent service and local employee ownership; that’s who we are. How may we help you today?
Brad Tuttle at Time magazine tells us more about how WinCo treats its workers:
...what really might scare the world’s largest retailer is how WinCo treats its employees. In sharp contrast to Walmart, which regularly comes under fire for practices like understaffing stores to keep costs down and hiring tons of temporary workers as a means to avoid paying full-time workers benefits, WinCo has a reputation for doing right by employees. It provides health benefits to all staffers who work at least 24 hours per week. The company also has a pension, with employees getting an amount equal to 20% of their annual salary put in a plan that’s paid for by WinCo; a company spokesperson told the Idaho Statesman that more than 400 nonexecutive workers (cashiers, produce clerks and such) currently have pensions worth over $1 million apiece.
Tuttle explains how WinCo is able to keep its prices low:
Prices are kept low through a variety of strategies, the main one being that it often cuts out distributors and other middlemen and buys many goods directly from farms and factories. WinCo also trims costs by not accepting credit cards and by asking customers to bag their own groceries. Similar to warehouse membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, and also to successful discount grocers with small stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi, WinCo stores are organized and minimalist, without many frills, and without the tremendous variety of merchandise that’s become standard at most supermarkets.
Click here to find the nearest WinCo near you.