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economic justice | health | labor

Safeway Pickets Friday and Saturday Only

Join us at your favorite Safeway this weekend!
People are very excited about supporting the 70,000 workers on the picket line in California by expanding our Portland actions to SIX different Safeway stores this weekend. Apparently, lots of people want to watch football on Sunday, so we are cancelling the Sunday pickets. Please show up for one on Friday or Saturday. The list below has the different stores--please sign up for one or more of these shifts:

82nd and Burnside: Friday 4pm-6pm Saturday Noon-2pm Saturday 2pm-4pm
10th and Jefferson (SW): Friday 4pm-6pm Saturday Noon-2pm Saturday 2pm-4pm
122nd and Glisan (NE): Friday 4pm-6pm Saturday Noon-2pm Saturday 2pm-4pm
39th and Powell (SE): Friday 4pm-6pm** Saturday Noon-2pm Saturday 2pm-4pm
28th and Hawthorne (SE): Friday 4pm-6pm Saturday Noon-2pm Saturday 2pm-4pm
11th and Broadway (NE): Friday 4pm-6pm Saturday Noon-2pm** Saturday 2pm-4pm
**larger actions with rallies

We realize that this is large order to fill, but we think we can do it. Several unions have already "adopted" Safeway stores, and the UFCW International, the AFL-CIO State Federation, and the Northwest Oregon Labor Council are all working to make this happen. Together, we can help our sisters and brothers in southern California hold the line on health care!

Please join us, and sign up for a shift or two--or talk to your union or other organization about taking on a whole shift on your own. Signs, leaflets, and support will be available.


Here's some good information a friend put together to take action to support this camapaign:

1. Follow this link to sign the Safeway Boycott Pledge, if you haven't already done so. (An automatic e-mail will be sent to Safeway CEO Steve Burd.)  http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/safeway

2. If you can't make it to one of the fun picketing actions, you can cut up your Safeway club card and send it to Burd, just in case he didn't get the message with your e-mail. His address is: PO Box 99, Pleasanton CA, 94566-0009.

3. You can donate to the STRIKE SUPPORT FUND for the grocery workers by following this link:  https://secure.ga3.org/08/holdtheline/.

4. Encourage friends and family members, not just here in Portland but all over the country, to support the boycott, and whatever you do, DON'T SHOP AT SAFEWAY!

homepage: homepage: http://www.jwjpdx.org
phone: phone: 503-236-5573

NFS- a classic tactic that may no longer work 31.Jan.2004 10:34

Teddy Ruxpin (the lousy typist)

My computer crashed three times while I tried to post this, so I apologize if this shows up multiple times.

There used to be a really good tactic to use against grocery stores that would not alow unions and so forth. It may not work with Safeway, but I just wanted to throw this out so it would not be forgotten. Similar things also work against major corporate call centers like AOL.

Picketing stores causes a drop in revenues, which bothers the owners a little, but can often be counter-acted in the short term by simply lowering employee work hours to make up the cash difference. This winds up screwing the wage slaves and not screwing the store (at least in short term). Another idea was needed, and this was what I came up with: Negative-Flow Shopping (NFS).

If you do that math, NFS hurts the stores a lot, and keeps the wage-slave workers from going broke in the short term. NFS involves buying things that cost the store more to sell than to give away, such as Tootsie-Rolls. Many stores used to sell them for one penny each, and the way to nail these stores was to simply have a bunch of people walk in, and buy a single Tootsie-Roll several times a day. It takes a couple minutes to type it in the cash register, make the change and complete the purchase, and this time costs the store money in salary. If you buy 60 Tootsie-Rolls an hour at one minute per sale, the store makes $0.60 in revenues (minus the cost of the candy, which is too small to matter), but has to PAY one hour's worth of salary for the cashier (in most states, $5.50). Thus, by shopping at the store using NFS, the store LOSES $4.90 per cashier per hour that you do this. In Oregon, the store loses even more cash because min wage is higher here, and the best part is the cashiers STILL GET PAID! It is a negative cash flow for the store, they lose more money than they pay.

This is only a short term tactic though, because once the store catches on they simply remove the Tootsie-Rolls, which would then prompt us to buy 1/2 ounce of bulk flour untill they cought on to that, then buy one piece of $0.05 gum, then a single tomato, and so forth. This lasts a day or two before the store just starts ordering the cashiers to not process transaction below a certain amount, and then the tactic has to end. But it is great in the short term, more effecive than a picket alone, and saves the wage-slaves from simply being sent home early to save the store money.

Basically, anything that costs 1/60th of an hour of the cashier's wages and takes at least 60 seconds to ring up and pay for results in NFS. Picketers can run in several times a day during the protest and NFS a piece of penny candy or something, and the store owners will sit there gloating about how the protestors are still shopping there. It usually takes them quite a while to catch on that they are actually losing money on these transactions.

With the absence of penny candies and the like these days, this tactic has become harder to do. But it is still possible if you look around hard enough, practice your "slow-ass checkout skills" like taking your time writing a check, digging for your wallet and never using exact change. Also, if everyone agrees in advance to target a specific coin (say, nickles), and tries to run up as many purchases that require nickle chage as possible, the endless running back and forth for tubes of nickles by the cashiers takes more hourly wages from the store, puts them in the pockets of the wage-slaves and "nickle & dimes" the store to death. It does not appear to be a lot of cash, but it really adds up fast.

To protect the stockers and other wage-slaves in the store from being sent home early, make sure to re-arrange (slightly) the store goods while shopping for your NFS items. Every box of crackers that is moved to the canned goods aisle keeps the stockers buisy, employed and sucking cash from the store. Don't move too many things though, or the store will catch on faster, just try to move one or two things from one end of the store to the other, to keep the stockers running back and forth all day.