Meijer's unionized Michigan employees OK new labor contract

GRAND RAPIDS - Members of a union representing nearly 27,000 employees at Meijer's 92 Michigan stores have ratified a new contract with the retailer. Read more
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Since: Sep 08

Saint Charles, IL

#44 Jul 15, 2009
Arctic49519 wrote:
<quoted text>
They can't technically "fire" them for organizing a union in and of itself, but they can refuse to negotiate with the unionized workers. It doesn't matter if an employer declares a place a "non-union" shop. The employer has no say in whether or not the workers choose to exercise their rights to organize. The employer can however refuse to deal with the union and bring in replacement workers, but it is an all or none situation. They have to replace everyone or negotiate with the union. Most employers cannot survive replacing every worker at once. Strength in numbers.
I did not think that they could refuse to negotiate or get rid of them if they organize. They can stall of course like what is going on in GRPS now but I think they have to deal with them. If the union strikes they can replace them.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#45 Jul 15, 2009
GR Pete wrote:
<quoted text>
I did not think that they could refuse to negotiate or get rid of them if they organize. They can stall of course like what is going on in GRPS now but I think they have to deal with them. If the union strikes they can replace them.
The laws are different for public employees like teachers than private sector workers.

I think I understand what you are getting at... technically illegal to fire them for unionizing. However, there is nothing to stop a private company from being unreasonable in negotiations and forcing the workers to strike and then replacing the whole lot. This is quite rare because most businesses simply could not survive losing every experienced worker they have at once.
A David

Bay City, MI

#46 Nov 8, 2009
Patrick in Alger Heights wrote:
I can't stand unions. People need to just be happy if they have a job in today's society. Good jobs are hard enough to come by. I will NEVER work for a unionized company.
Unions can have the power to impede a company's ability to compete and thrive. A firm might be in desperate trouble, yet its unions may be unwilling to bend or compromise in order to help the company survive. Many employers find themselves left very inflexible when they have union contracts to abide by.
Look I work for Meijer and I don't like unions either. The more important point is that you can't work a job that requires ZERO education and expect to make top dollar. Unfortunately Michigan is an anti-education state with a "well, that's good enough" mentality. The mind set is that only low level production jobs are worth attracting. However new businesses don't want to move here because of the unions.

The social contract changed as well. Pre-1980's you worked for a company and as long as you were loyal and stayed until retirement you were taken care of. This is no longer the case and workers need to look for ways to increase their value to the company if they wish to remain.

That said Meijer has terrible management. The whole state of Michigan is in a management crisis. Any company that is run too poorly is bound to have employees unionize and that company deserves what ever it gets!

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#47 Nov 9, 2009
Scott Young wrote:
Unions force companies into actually paying employers a decent wage. I worked for Meijer, and I received such UNION benefits as a decent wage, fair hours based on seniority, and....yes, I saw employees fired for poor customer service! UNIONS cannot protect employees that are proven incompetent! Funny, every anti-union person has never belonged to one!
Good Day,

Actually, I am anti union and was in one. Back in college I was a Supervizing Cashier at Meijer and was FORCED into the UFCW after 30 days, no choice. I deeply resented that. My expeiences and what I witnessed solidified my disdain for unions. The concept of seniority messed things up dramaticly. People who were clearly better qualified for a promotion/position were passed over due to seniority. That system was so abused by those with a grudge, agenda, or wishing to cause trouble. One of the reasons customer service is so poor at many stores. There is a lot of resentment and anger in the atmosphere.

Steelie
sean

Grayling, MI

#48 Nov 24, 2009
James wrote:
Excuse me folks but you have this all wrong.
As a capitalist, I love the fact that if I employ union workers I know exactly what my costs/overhead will be over the life of the bargaining agreement. I could care less how the economy treats you, price of gas rises, not my problem, price of housing raises, not my problem, price of food increases, suck it up and deal with it. With a bargaining agreement in place you can't ask for a raise, without one you make a pest of yourself and continually ask for a pay raise because of this , that or the other. All I care about is my bottom line and how it relates to my business. If you fell that this is unfair, quit and seek better pay elsewhere,that's your right or privilege. I will always find people to replace you. Always.
As a capitalist, the reason I dislike Unions is because of the lobbying efforts they put forth to protect the rights of all workers and consumers, union or not. Do you think the 40 hour work week with time and a half after forty is because business felt a compelling affection to treat the worker better, to pay them more? Do you think OSHA, EPA, DOL and a host of other programs where conceived because of my concern for the worker, the environment or even the consumer? GET REAL... You don't even have enough sense to stop buying toys from China but yet you want Congress to give more power to those departments which I despise.
As a capitalist I hate it when some agency tells me that I have to adhere to this rule or law or that I have to buy this safety equipment or label this or that and a host of other stuff which just cuts into my profits.
If you think I am arrogant see above about what I care for and if you need an example. Think about how many super fund sites we have here in Michigan, I have made billions at these manufacturing facilities and now they are being cleaned up at the taxpayers expense. Thank You very much!!!!!
People without a consciencs are capitalists,people with a conscience are christians. Try it you might like it, or not!
CURRENT MEIJER EMPLOYEE

United States

#49 Mar 23, 2010
I WORK FOR MEIJER DISTRIBUTION CENTER AND WE ARE UNION AND IT'S GREAT, BENEFITS, SENIORITY, DECENT PAY, BUT JUST BECAUSE WE ARE UNION DOES NOT MEAN THEY DO NOT FIRE PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY DO ALL THE TIME. WHOEVER SAID UNIONS SUCK IS FULL OF SHIT, UNION IS THE BEST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN AT MEIJER!
CURRENT MEIJER EMPLOYEE

United States

#50 Mar 23, 2010
ALSO YOU CANNOT BE A SUPERVISOR OR MANAGER AND BE UNION, A UNION IS A BROTHERHOOD, AS SOON AS YOU WRITE ME UP, I'M FILING AGREEMENTS ON YOUR ASS AND I'LL TAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO UNION H.Q. AND ILL WIN!:)
hello

Bangor, MI

#51 Mar 24, 2010
CURRENT MEIJER EMPLOYEE wrote:
ALSO YOU CANNOT BE A SUPERVISOR OR MANAGER AND BE UNION, A UNION IS A BROTHERHOOD, AS SOON AS YOU WRITE ME UP, I'M FILING AGREEMENTS ON YOUR ASS AND I'LL TAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO UNION H.Q. AND ILL WIN!:)
Ummmmm, it's people like you that give union workers a bad name.
how do you win when you file an agreement?????????
Do you mean Grievance???? Your last two posts total contradict each other. Maybe you should look up the word contradict in dictionary so you don't get anymore confused than you already are.
Ryan

Grand Rapids, MI

#52 Jun 14, 2010
Offended wrote:
<quoted text>
I unfortunately work at Meijer and take offense to your comments that we are uneducated and live off Federal Programs.
I have a degree and 8+ years working for the big three in a white collar position. I lost my job due to cut backs and as we all know Michigan is just bursting at the seams with high paying jobs right now. I swallowed my pride and took this job so that I would have some form of income while I continue to look for a job where I can use the skills and knowledge that I have acquired over the years.
Also, not everyone one in the State of Michigan qualifies for government assistance...if you're single, not a minority or a foreigner and have no dependents, it does not matter how long you have paid into the system, you are out of luck! I happen to be one of the many that have basically been told what I can go do to myself because the State and Federal governments are not helping me out!
As for nasty customer service, I as well as other employees, put up with nasty customers on a daily basis. I try to be just as pleasant as possible, but I know that it is not always possible. So the next time you complain about customer service, think about all the crap that person has put up with from customers all day long! And, not only do we have to put up with crap from customers, it is no picnic working for Meijer! The way they treat their employees is dehumanizing!
So yes, I take great offense to your comments!
I work for Meijer also and I agree with what you have said. I put up with shit left and right from customers. From people trying to steal, cheat, lie, and get money from the company. I have seen to many angles working here. But I also hate working for meijer, as they have no compassion for their hourly employees. The meijer youngests that run the company now only care about profit, not about their own. I have 5+ years for Meijer now and have a college education, but cannot find work.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#53 Jun 14, 2010
Ryan wrote:
<quoted text>
I work for Meijer also and I agree with what you have said. I put up with shit left and right from customers. From people trying to steal, cheat, lie, and get money from the company. I have seen to many angles working here. But I also hate working for meijer, as they have no compassion for their hourly employees. The meijer youngests that run the company now only care about profit, not about their own. I have 5+ years for Meijer now and have a college education, but cannot find work.
Good Day,

First, I hope you soon find work in the field you studied in college. It is true all of the things you actually see while in retail. Always people looking to game the system. At least those employees that actually care.

Steelie
Fed Up

United States

#54 Nov 30, 2011
Offended wrote:
<quoted text>
I unfortunately work at Meijer and take offense to your comments that we are uneducated and live off Federal Programs.
I have a degree and 8+ years working for the big three in a white collar position. I lost my job due to cut backs and as we all know Michigan is just bursting at the seams with high paying jobs right now. I swallowed my pride and took this job so that I would have some form of income while I continue to look for a job where I can use the skills and knowledge that I have acquired over the years.
Also, not everyone one in the State of Michigan qualifies for government assistance...if you're single, not a minority or a foreigner and have no dependents, it does not matter how long you have paid into the system, you are out of luck! I happen to be one of the many that have basically been told what I can go do to myself because the State and Federal governments are not helping me out!
As for nasty customer service, I as well as other employees, put up with nasty customers on a daily basis. I try to be just as pleasant as possible, but I know that it is not always possible. So the next time you complain about customer service, think about all the crap that person has put up with from customers all day long! And, not only do we have to put up with crap from customers, it is no picnic working for Meijer! The way they treat their employees is dehumanizing!
So yes, I take great offense to your comments!
i agree with you whole-heartedly!! The comments from others just prove that ignorance has no bounds.
IbiteUbark

Bedford, OH

#55 Dec 1, 2011
Friends, I organize Unions instead of complaining. I learned in my youth that life isn't fair so I go out and get it. If I don't, I move to where I can get it. Its what winners do and flunkies won't.
Sideline your emotions for bit and contemplate this; union leaders operate under the same principals as business leaders. Reduced, the field of politics is the means used to get what you want. We both make demands, manage resources, take risks, analyze, glad hand, communicate and so forth. I have several degrees, my advice is to take an industrial psychology class or an I.O. course. If you'd like more material study the first organization of the Ford River Rouge Plant and which side became violent and why. Issue, motive and belief - work through the angles. If this isn't enough study Denmark's economy and its affect on work week hours, macro economy and what the 99% unionized workforce earns both working and when laid off.("...it's double the U.S." -<whispered>)
"You can't lead the people if you need the people." How confident are you that your boss can do your job? Are you rewarded when good? Punished when bad? How inteligent are your company's metrics?(see: The Harvard Business Review) Do you know about Elton Mayo's work? Ever read "First Break all the Rules?, a guide for management that actually works." (placed ironically on Michael Scott's desk. Likely, never read.) What motivates you to "do more?" Does Despair_dot_com's philosophies make sense to you? Stop the blogs. Do some digging. Report back.
Extra Credit: The recent Occupy "movement" bores me. I see action without power. What could many of these folkes gain in their personal lives/finaces by organizing a union at thier work force(s)? Will the "one with the toys" continue to make the rules re: Equity/Expectancy Theory...? Why do Asian executives earn 17 times the average wage at thier companies vs. American exec's at 50? Is this patriotic?
-Until we meet again, I continue my loyalty to Meijer, I'll never shop at Wall Mart and I have very little use for Lowes (70% of products - made in China). Good day.
"You lose. Get off my property!" -C. Montgomery Burns
Bob

Granger, IN

#56 Dec 31, 2011
Union Meijer's don't get half the service or half the great ratings as non-union meijer's! Kinda funny! Union's suck and lead to mediocrity which is why non-union stores people work hard because they have to earn it!
meatbag

Grand Rapids, MI

#57 Jul 3, 2012
Get Real wrote:
This is not complicated folks. Unions push for better pay and more time off, businesses push for more productivity.......The 2 don't work together.
Unions are the thing of the past. If a business wants good employees, and to hold on to them, they will pay a wage that keeps them. Continuous training of new employees cuts down on production and therefore costs money.
If folks don't like the wage, they need to go somewhere else, that is the benefit (and liability) of living in a free Country.
I've worked for meijer pushing carts for almost 5 years it will be in september. I got wrote up for refusing to work and walking off the job just cause I didnt have a 20 min lotcheck done, I was hot and felt sick and the my supervisor she did not give me time to cool down and wanted me to stay a extra 20 mins when it's 100 plus degrees out there, give me a break. I'm going to fight it I know that, I know it was the wrong thing to do but I felt so sick and exhausted from the heat to stay another 20 mins when my shift was already done. so I get wrote up, and I feel I was treated unfairly and have a case to argue, to get this walking off the job thing lifted. I felt like passing out at the time I wasnt thinking straight when I walked off, I was only thinking how bad I felt!!
Steve

Royal Oak, MI

#58 Jul 31, 2013
Scott Young wrote:
Unions force companies into actually paying employers a decent wage. I worked for Meijer, and I received such UNION benefits as a decent wage, fair hours based on seniority, and....yes, I saw employees fired for poor customer service! UNIONS cannot protect employees that are proven incompetent! Funny, every anti-union person has never belonged to one!
I'm pro union, generally speaking. I'm a leftist in general, pro labor, anti-corporate, and (surprise surprise) an MBA holder (from a private conservative university, ironically enough). There's one part of your post that's dead wrong, which only serves to aid the anti union morons who seem to have no idea what the labor movement has done for them or where we had been before its achievements came around. Meijer does NOT pay a good wage to its employees. Maybe if you're in management you get a living wage, bit everyone else starts out at minimum wage and only moves away from it a few cents at a time over the years. The wage cap is also painfully low. The Meijer union does next to nothing for its employees. Some of what it considers having done for its employees is found at pretty much every non-union job you've ever heard of, and does it less well. It exists only to take the money of underpaid employees, and seems to act as little more than an extention of management. Meijer is an incompetently run company with a worthless union, all of which conspire to produce miserable employees (which is even worse when you're deliberately understaffed), because they think that it's a good idea to have miserable employees interact with customers. It's paradoxical how a deliberate (and short sighted) focus on the bottom line only ever hurts the bottom line. Meijer could cut way back on costs if it paid its workers a living wage (which the union does nothing to pursue) and expand the 10% discount to more than just GM (i.e., they include food and HBC), and got rid of their "write up" culture. Employee turnover rates would drop sharply, and these same employees would spend that money back on Meijer's produce causing the asset turnover ratio to increase...but basic economics escapes short sighted corporate leaders, and also parasitic unions too worthless to do anything for the common good.

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