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It's time to Stop & Strike

On strike at the Truman Parkway Stop & Shop

On strike on Truman Parkway in Hyde Park.

At 1 p.m., the United Food & Commercial Workers declared a strike against Stop & Shop across New England. As workers walked out of stores, managers, with nobody left to do any work except for Marty the Spill Finding Robot, shut the stores and associated gas stations.

Announcing the strike:

On strike in Dedham:

Striking in Dedham
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Comments

Solidarity.

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Voting closed 91

I'll get my raisin bran elsewhere til this is resolved.

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At stores with reasonable prices.

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Have you reviewed the offers? Do you pay 8.6% of the cost of your health insurance?

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When you demand more than you are worth you will either get fired or the company goes under and you get laid off. The real minimum wage is zero.

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But go off

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not when labor organizes it isn't

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Yes, because why should people make a decent living wage with benefits? Thank the unions for the rights that you have in the workplace now. When unions are strong so is the middle class. But you do you.

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You might find that you're actually worth more to the company than they're currently paying you and they're actually able to pay you more for the work you do, just unwilling without that leverage.

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If you collectively bargain you will be paid what the company contracts with the union to pay for the average value of your coworkers in your union. So, if you are an employee of above average value you will be paid less than you otherwise would. Plus Big Lou will take his union dues out of your check to pay for his "expenses" in representing you.

If you feel you have value you should want to be a free agent. With the employee protections in current law there is no need for someone with skills to offer to join a union unless you just want to be able to avoid drug testing or produce less than you otherwise could.

But it's OK because all of these employees will be replaced by robots within the next decade or so. They better grab what they can now. I'll go to Star Market and help speed the process.

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You're post is so full on inaccuracies it's comical. But hey, keep hating organized labor. See how well you are valued as an employee when organized labor is gone. I'll give you a hint, not much. And stop and shops plan is to become a fully automated store. Do you think you'll be seeing lower prices and stop and shop? Yeah right!

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Robots can’t do everything! They still need people.

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But I'll start with one - companies don't pay people what they're worth, they pay people the smallest amount they can in order to keep them working. Ideally in a perfect market these would be the same; but in a world where large corporations have outsize power vs individuals and it's not always possible even for an above average employee to easily find work elsewhere instantaneously, collective bargaining is one of the best ways employees of all levels have of exerting pressure on companies to increase that "smallest amount", which benefits everyone.

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Voting closed 49

But you seem to have absolutely no understanding of economics. Yes, it is called the dismal science for a reason but it is not that which you have issue.

These anti-capitalist statements have been absolutely wrong. Yes, I understand you all have a political motive to make your statements, but they have no truth in terms of economics. Companies cannot act as you say and continue in business for long. There is a true market for labor and actually it currently is in favor of the employee, not the employer.

You all can say what you want but the statements being posted about capitalism and corporate profits are wrong. I can't provide an education in macroeconomics in blog post but I suggest you all look into one. Collectivism through politics is not a way to avoid the laws of economics no matter how much you may hate it. Good luck in life if you think collectivism will make you free.

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Probably shouldn't be talking about other people's knowledge of economics when you aren't showing you ever took anything more than micro 101. A lot of your statements aren't actually backed up all that well by the empirical research.

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So, if you are an employee of above average value you will be paid less than you otherwise would.

ahahahahahahahahahahahahah do you even capitalism, dude

the idea people get paid what they deserve hasn't been true since... idk, the industrial revolution?

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With the employee protections in current law

.....

....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Which ones, exactly???
The few that are still left?

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I'm not sure what your point is, but you certainly can type HAHA as well as my kids did when they were preschoolers. Well done. Enjoy life in your group home.

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You certainly are above it all and beside the point.

Enjoy life in your group home.

Enjoy your sabbatical at the Sorbonne.

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which is why you chose to ignore it.

I specifically asked which "worker protections" you were referring to.

because our laws have been absolutely gutted over the past 40 years.

the notion that "but the law exists and is just fine as it is to protect workers" is an old capitalist-neoliberal line thats been used to marginalize unions and workplace democracy for a long, long time.

even though it's not true.

Greetings from the Group Home!
It's nice here. It's almost lunchtime, I'll get some soup.

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If you think any worker is being paid what they are worth, then you don't understand the basic premise of capitalism. Capitalism only functions if people are paid less than the value of what they produce. The company would not profit otherwise. It is, by definition, an exploitative system.

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If not this is the most idiotic analysis I've seen on UHub.

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Can you point out where I'm incorrect or is an ad-hominem attack your only response?

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Because without profits and growing profits, your company ceases to exist. And so does your job.

If you don't get that - you've obviously never managed a business.

Don't know enough about pay scales at Stop and Shop - so possible they could have a beef. But a company has to make profits and if you don't grow those profits - it's only a matter of time before the financial grim reaper lops off your overhead.

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Yes, I understand all of this. My point is that under capitalism, those profits go to executives and shareholders instead of the workers who actually created them.

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Without the capital of the shareholders (i.e. - owners) there would be no company to begin with. Would you invest in a company or even lend to a company that gave all its profits to workers? How does the company buy inventory, build new stores, invest in technology and so on without that capital? And what happens if you have a bad year - just tell your lenders oops?

And the managers are employees too. Part of the benefit of moving up the corporate ladder is you share in a piece of the profits. They don't get any of the profits unless they produce (if the comp system is properly structured - whole separate discussion). And if they don't produce, they get the boot and if they don't produce for a long time, everyone gets the boot.

Capitalism is the worst system possible. Except for all the other systems. I don't see too many people fleeing the country to live under those systems. Quite the contrary. We literally have people camping on our doorstep waiting to get in and I'd bet all of them would take those jobs at Stop and Shop in a heartbeat.

I'm all ears if you have another solution, but I can't even imagine what that is.

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I'm all ears if you have another solution, but I can't even imagine what that is.

Three words: worker owned co-ops. We need democracy in the workplace.

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The problem is capital - that's a necessary component. How do organizations like this raise money? Especially if you want to scale the operation for efficiencies and lower costs.

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Do some googling. Worker-owned cooperatives are finding ways to do it. Look at what's going on in Milwaukee and Cleveland, for example.

Plus, your "capital" argument fails because the contemporary executive class hasn't made capital investments either. They've benefited from government giveaways and inherited wealth. And when they get yet another break, like the 2017 tax "reform", they don't reinvest it in the business, they give it to themselves and to shareholders.

The thing that breaks people's brains on this subject is the unspoken assumption about why a business exists. We assume it exists to make profits, but that's really limited thinking. Businesses provide needed goods and services to communities, partnerships with other businesses, and a living to their employees. And when they start to fail in any of those -- which we have been seeing in the US for a long time, and it's really coming to the point where it can't be ignored -- you have to question whether the whole business model is worth anything.

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man I love it when people treat the economy like the weather. "it just is what it is, theres nothing else and all we can do is predict it"

it's not some predetermined force of nature, its an invention of human beings, it is filled with failures just like human beings are and can be changed to anything else if we want it.

to the on-the-nose points above, I'll add worker coops are present around the world, please look to the example of Argentina, where, when the neoliberal economy collapsed in 2001, workers took over factories after the capitalists quite literally took all their cash out of the country in the middle of the night and shut everything down. the work continued in spite of the capitalists, not thanks to them.

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...at Argentina. If that's the best you can do, you have no argument. Nice country, Buenos Aires is beautiful, but it barely functions as little more than a giant farm.

If you have a better solution, let me know. My friend is running a bootstrap startup. The employees own a big chunk of the company - and it's a brilliant idea. But if she can't raise the next round of capital, they are toast, because you can't pay anybody, their shares are worthless without capital and eventually they need to buy a pizza or something and need a real paycheck.

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and if you think Argentina is "little more than a giant farm," well, you're letting your ignorance show.

there are plenty more examples of worker coops around the world, and in the united states, if that will suit your american exceptionalism a little better.

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kickstarter! patreon! the classic "capitalists put in money, labor puts in labor, everyone benefits" has been SO broken and SO untrue for SO LONG that we now have entire economies sprouting up around "labor collectively provides money, labor puts in labor, everyone benefits while capitalists continue to rewrite laws and not pay their taxes and treat cash like it's points on a video game and they need the high score"

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I work for an employee owned biz (me and my wife). But it's small and will stay small by design. Our business exists for all the reasons you mention and not really to "make profit" - our profit is our income. But we're not going to take on Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs any time soon. sons you mention.

If they can make it work, good for them. But without capital, very hard to scale. Depends on the business. Dirty Water pizza was/is worker owned after the break up. Don't see that going very far. Not saying you can't do it, just not likely to ever be very big especially in a capital intensive biz.

As for your second paragraph, do some googling yourself. Cap-ex has indeed expanded significantly - just not as much as the Republicans hoped. But it's definitely up. And your point about inherited wealth is WAY off base. Very few Americans are wealthy due to inherited wealth (depending a bit on your definition of wealthy.

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Who said anything about ALL PROFITS? Workers here just want a decent wage and some benefits, much like you enjoy. Stop and shop can definitely afford this. No one is trying to destroy the company.

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You do realize I work for myself (as noted above in an employee owned biz that I own). Anything I "enjoy" including paying tens of thousands of dollars in rent, health care, government fees and more a year, comes directly out of my pocket.

Do me a favor - go pull Stop and shop's financials and show me that they can "afford" this. Maybe they can. I don't know. But before pulling numbers from thin air - prove it. Grocery margins are notoriously thin and they are competing with the likes of Walmart and Amazon and my local favorite when I can get there market basket. Go get their numbers and come back with a proper analysis.

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https://www.aholddelhaize.com/media/8807/ahold-delhaize_q4fy18_summary-r...

Ahold Delhaize breaks out the financials by country. The summary report (link above) has some information regarding S&S (pages 2 and 3).

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Perhaps anon above wants to explain how a biz with about 7% margins (measured by EBITDA) and 4% operating margin can dramatically increase wages in a business with competitors pounding out price reductions like Amazon and Walmart?.

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Yes, I understand the parent company made $2 billion last year (I haven't verified it), but S&S needs to stand on its own. Do we know the numbers for S&S?

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they are right, workers produce the value of a good through their labor. At every stage from extraction to distribution, it is workers who do the actual work. To the worker go the spoils.

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"No one is paid what they are worth" is Marxist dribble. But let's use your dribble as it is illustrative. No one goes to a supermarket just to pay high prices. People shop around for lower prices. So you could argue that corporations aren't paid what they are worth either.

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"No one is paid what they are worth" is Marxist dribble.

How so?
Show your work.

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So you're arguing that consumers are exploiting corporations by paying the prices that they're asking for? This isn't a valid comparison at all, but let's put that aside for a second. Corporations aren't people. They're not even sentient beings. Do you really care if a corporation is being exploited (which, again, they aren't)?

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Five of them within walking distance of each other. Only game in a one horse town. Whose fault is it then that they can't charge $8 for a pint of milk?

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Oh boy, I knew it was only a matter of time until your dumb ass showed up. Care to move the goalposts any further?

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world view demolished with a single pointed question...doubles down on insults.

Back to the point at hand comrade: if capitalism is theft from the worker, how is it not theft from the employer too?

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Because the employers are the ones committing the theft, you obtuse asshole! Are you arguing that employers and employees are somehow stealing back and forth from each other like some weird game of hot potato? Your question was neither pointed nor did it result in the demolition of my worldview. It was asinine and completely unrelated to anything I had said, so I didn't answer it. I resorted to insults because you are a moron who never makes arguments in good faith, so you're not worth engaging with. It has nothing to do with my political leanings. Please fuck off.

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dude I kind of have a crush on you for that

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I hope they work it out.
I shop at the Stop and Shop on Freeport St. and I will continue to.

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Because if that store is like the stores in Roslindale, Hyde Park and Dedham, management closed it when the workers walked out.

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How would that be possible?

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in the last picture on this page you can see a sign on the door saying "this store is temporarily closed"

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Many are already back open

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They won't be able to staff more than a fraction of them with management and scabs.

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I haven't been in one to confirm, but I've heard they're open with a combination of corporate and temp staff, and at least at some locations only the self checkouts are open.

Interestingly their website has no mention of the strike anywhere...

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"Striking in low skilled work is dangerous so I will be a strike breaker"

wut mate?

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Scab

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I thought workers that crossed the picket line were scabs. Customers who cross the picket line are scabs too?

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No, they're not. They have the right to form their own opinions and ignore selfish tantrums

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that's it ^

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That's nice. I've been called worse in my life. It doesn't bother me in the least, and I fully intend to continue shopping at the closest grocery store to me.

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that it would be better if one did not cross the picket line, as would then be supporting the workers and their cause, which I do not include in the "selfish tantrum" range.

You might want to bone up on your U.S. labor history before continuing.

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I don't support their cause. Did you read the contract that was offered? It is outrageously generous. Hence my "tantrum" comment.

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Tell us how they're so much better off than you are.

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Bootlicker?

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Its ok to lick boots, bot don't be a fucking scab and don't be a snitch.

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Can't wait to shop at Market Basket this weekend.. its gonna be a zoo. More so than it usually is...

Its the least we can do, S&S put up with Market Basket customers a few years ago...

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then get there really early on the weekend.

I suspect a lot of those S&S customers won't be coming back once they see how much better other chains are. Expect more crowds at MB :-)

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Isn't Shaws unionized?

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You will not get what you need unless you exercise power to get it. In civil society unions are capable of supporting you in getting what you need. Full stop.

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for Stop and Shop. As holder of the 'Worst Supermarket in New England" title their ignorant (if not just lazy or shopping there out of convenience) customers are going to be shopping elsewhere and realize they don't need S&S or their high prices, rotting produce, and terrible service. Once they find a decent place for groceries they won't be going back.
SAD!

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I suspect most people hope the S&S will just close so that we can finally get an acceptable grocery store in that building.

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This Arlingtonian prefers the Stop & Shop. Better than Whole Foods or Shaws. Trader Joes is better for some things.

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does not include Shaw's. Worse than S&S.

As for Whole Foods, if you live in their universe you love them. I don't.

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I go out of my way for Wegmans. Sure prices arent as rock bottom as MB, but on par if not better than S+S. Plus i get better products, better employees and a more pleasant shopping experience.

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I believe bfresh (such as the one in Davis Square) is part of Stop & Shop these days. Are they part of the strike as well?

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I walked over to the Davis Square store this afternoon. It was open as usual, with no picket line. I believe the union workers there have a separate contract. Probably the same is true for the Allston store, but I haven't been over there.

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I walked over to bfresh this morning and employees are inside working.

Still won't go there in solidarity with S&S.

bfresh probably isn't unionized, and intently so, so Ahold USA can bypass the union. (happens alot)

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but I believe they have a separate contract.

Welcome bfresh members to UFCW Local 1445

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Adam - Can't Marty be programmed to operate a checkout. :-)

I hope the strike ends quickly.

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"Marty, The Spill Finding Mayor."

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It’s time the minimum wage reflects the cost of living. Slavery shouldn’t exist! No one should work 40 hours a week and be poor.

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First and foremost I am not an employee for Stop & Shop I am a consumer/shopper.

I am asking everyone who normally shop at Stop & Shop to not shop at Stop & Shop.

It is time we the ordinary citizen need to take a personal stance against big companies. Let's help our Stop & Shop working neighbors by not crossing their picket lines please

This actually will give you an opportunity to hopefully shop locally and if you're not happy with their prices have a conversation with the manager. Shop locally.

Shoppers do not cross the picket line please

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baby capitalists can blather on as much as they like in the comments section. I'm grateful that I don't have to live in their head, and ultimately many of us will show solidarity to the striking workers to help them win, and that's what matters.

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It's really nice to hear all the voices speaking out in support of the Stop & Shop workers. I'm not a union worker, don't work in a unionized field, but I fully recognize the value of unions in establishing and maintaining some level of economic justice in our society.

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If you organize your fellow workers every industry can be a union industry.

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That is 2,000 millions of dollars of profits for S & S. I believe that Our Debra Goldberg is one of the heirs with about 50 million to her name. As an aside, whenever a Walmart opens, it leads to the demise of about 100 area stores.

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That is 2,000 millions of dollars of profits for S & S.

Not exactly. That's $2 billion for the parent company, not S&S. Big difference.

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There is very little info out there about the specifics in the negotiations. All I've seen is vague references to pensions, health benefits and pay.

One item I did notice was that S&S wanted to remove overtime pay on Sunday. This is an interesting debate.

Sunday isn't what it used to be, at least here in the USA. We all like to go out and do our shopping on Sunday. It really is no different than any other day. Yes, most people still have Mon-Fri jobs, but there have been a lot of changes in how people work and that includes schedules that include weekends. For example, some staffing has a person working 4 days @ 10ish hours/day, and another person working the other 3 days at 12 hours/day to fill the week.

For the workers, this is a huge issue, as a lot of them depend on their Sunday overtime pay. For corporate, Sunday is just another day.

Any thoughts?

Has anybody seen any specifics with the contract offer?

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