portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | human & civil rights | police / legal

Wild Oats Closing--Legal Help Needed

Eugene Wild Oats is closing and injustice happening, help needed
One of the two Eugene Wild Oats stores is closing. While yes, Wild Oats is a corporation, there are still people behind it, local people, our neighbors, friends and family. Wild Oats national is doing great injustice to the people who slaved for the store to make it a success. For example, some people who worked at the Wild Oats store, some more than 15 years, are getting at most 6 weeks of severance pay! How can it be possible for an individual to put out everythnig for something he/she believes in (natural foods) and get screwed so badly?!?!!! Any information you may have regarding previous legal actions is needed. We can't let the corporations hurt us like this, working is an evil paradox of life, the least we can do is hit the corporation hard so maybe it isn't as bad the next time around.

There was an article in the RG, link is  http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/10/23/a1.wildoats.1023.html
article is full of shit--wild oats is giving everyone flat severance pay packages, not based on how long you've worked there and employees were NOT ALLOWED to comment to the reporter, but boy, do they have a lot to say!

again, any information about past actions against wild oats would be really helpful as we try to gear up and tell this corporation that it can't violate our rights like this
severence sounds bout right 31.Oct.2004 07:56


6 weeks, that's better than the 2-4 most companies give. Fair, nope, but sign up for your unemployment right after you receive your last payment. The best thing for you to do is move on with your life, remember, you are not your job, and see it as a catalyst for change in your life. Yes, corporations fuck the workers, they have to, to pay the big bucks to the management...but you can't change the fact their closing, the fact your being laid off, or increase your severence, that's not gonna change.. but you can.

Density 31.Oct.2004 08:06

Bison Boy

So, that drops the number of natural food stores in Eugene from what, 18 to 17?

Do y'all suppose you could spare a few for Salem? We have more people and only one such store...

Some of us predicted this 3 years ago! 31.Oct.2004 09:24


Hey foodnaturalist, here's your comment from september.

If you were a union shop this wouldn't have happened.

I'm not blaming you, because they do a good job of convincing their employees everything allright.

"don't protest the local stores 14.Sep.2004 15:47

food naturalist link

while the corporate player Fred Meyer(store mgr) might be firing union organizers in Cincinati, that does not mean the same evils are happening here at our local Wild Oats affiliates. While Wild Oats may not be as local as some, the products taht are sold, the people that work there and the community are local and protesting the locals who have nothing to do with the Cincinati crime will not help, it will only hurt our neighbors and relatives taht work for Wild Oats locally. show your support for the ideal of local food and community and shop the stores, but write to the corporation and tell them--protest by using your words and actions in a manifestation that doesn't hurt those that we share our community with."



legal advise:

do not sign the gag order

do not sign the gag order

you will paralize any recourse or any legal action in the future

don't give up your free speach for some chump change

do not sign the gag order

is this the wild oats that took over Oasis? 31.Oct.2004 11:04

former eugene resident

'cuz Oasis was a smaller chain, actually Eugene-based, wasn't it? if so, this just shows what happens again when out-of-town corporations invade a town.

re. to Bison Boy: it's true there are other stores in eugene that sell natural/whole foods -- Sundance, Kiva, Red Barn and another i can't remember. plus, there's the Growers' Market, a volunteer co-op that sells food every thursday and friday only. but the market there is still mostly huge poison-food stores. though i believe that food is best sold through small, locally-owned stores that are accountable and responsible (if not owned by) their communities, large stores that sell whole foods are necessary in many places if there's to be any availability at all. and many residents of sprawling Eugene might not want to go downtown, where the small natural food stores mentioned above are.

uh, am i missing something? 31.Oct.2004 13:26

empire slayer

i know it must be a rude awakening to realize that working for wild oats was being a wage slave. and these are real people with real jobs and real families. but that is the nature of the beast. the corporations will fuck you every time. EVERY TIME! do not expect the daddy corporation or the daddy government to save you. REMEMBER, YOU ARE EXPENDABLE TO THEM!

Wild Oats - Corporate Farms 31.Oct.2004 13:48

Eugene Resident

Hello to the employees of Wild Oats I still call Oasis.
Dedicated and present for many years. Thank you.

I was priced out of shopping at Oasis at least 5 years ago.
I am also priced out of shopping at PC, which is very very
happy about the closure I am sure.

Sorry about your luck and be grateful for the experience on yur resume
cause that is what may (if your lucky) get you your next job.

Call for a real co-op natural foods store in Eugene 31.Oct.2004 15:44


Wouldn't it be great if all of those who are being canned by Wild Oats got together and started a really cool, cooperatively run natural foods store? I have been longing for a First Alternative Co-op type store (in Corvallis) to be in Eugene- one with lower prices, huge amounts of bulk items, the option of bringing in recyclable containers that the store will wash and put out for people to use- so you don't have to use theirs- and an awesome deli and salad bar. As far as I know, no store in Eugene lets people bring in their reusable containers (with lids- glass or plastic) to be washed, sanitized, and set out for people who don't remember to bring their own, or would rather not carry around a bunch of empty containers every time they go to the store. When I asked the Kiva if they would do that, I got scoffed at and told that only co-ops do that. Also, at Wild Oats, I paid more for olive oil buying it in bulk than it costs to buy a bottle off their shelf! Eugene needs a good co-op with reasonable prices- bulk foods should not cost more than otherwise.
I hope that those dedicated Wild Oats workers will start one up now!

Wild Oats-- Just Another Corporate Shithole 01.Nov.2004 08:16

Antinomias Vermont

How can it be possible for an individual to put out everythnig for something he/she believes in (natural foods) and get screwed so badly?!?!!!

It's called c(r)apitalism. Wild Oats was a yuppie shithole back in the days when it was just Alfalfa's Market in Boulder. Now it's a multistate union-busting yuppie shithole. Mayhaps in the future, folks should take off their rose-colored glasses, admit that the basic struggle in society is the class struggle, and that all other struggles are created by the ruling classes to misdirect workers from the real struggle. In other words, this is why folks should take some time to get off their meditation cushions, put down their granola, and organize.

Shop at GROWERS! 01.Nov.2004 19:30


hey go shop ( and work) at Growers Market--the closest thing to a co-op that Eugene has...work for a half hour and get 15% of your food bill...there are orietation meeting every week..NO MORE EXCUSES TO SHOP AT WILD OATS!

good riddance 02.Nov.2004 11:34


sundance is,was and will remain num.1 in eugene.oh,but words of wisdom,LAY DOWN WITH DOGS,WAKE UP WITH FLEAS.and get a life,one you create not one that is imposed upon you.reality is not so bad,wake up and try it...........p.sSTOP BELIEVING THE LIES

wild oats sucks dick anyway 10.Nov.2004 19:40

a non dick sucker

Speaking from experience Wild Oats does not care about its employees, there lives or their livlihoods. So wake up everyone, this is what happens when the corporate world decides there is some money to be made in natural foods. There may not be any hydrogenated oils on the premises of Wild Oats, but they are knee deep in some rank shit! Spend your money wisely, don't give it to the MAN.

where is the line 12.Jan.2005 05:50


Where exactly do you draw the line at a bad corporation and a good company?

Breed more people, and they have to work somewhere.

Where you work is good where they work is bad, is that it?

Wild Oats Division Store in Portland Oregon Closes 29.Jan.2006 19:20

Betty Lou

The Wild Oats Division Store closes on February 18, 2006. It's about time, the company doesn't belong in Portland. Unfortunatly, Wild Oats has been cold hearted again. This time instead of a 6 week cap on the package, it's only a 4 week cap now. It doesn't matter if you've been with the company 12 years or 4 years, all you will receive is 4. Fuck them! We deserve better, they don't deserve to keep any of us!!!! Too bad the union never worked!!! Keep it clean for the next few weeks! It's been a blast the customers and employees made it worth it!

Arizona Henry's (owned by Wild Oats) closing 25.Nov.2006 01:40

Yeah, I know it's old.

I've worked for Wild Oats/Henry's Farmers Market for over 2 yrs now. I found out last week at an early morning meeting that they'd decided to shut down all 5 Arizona Henry's stores. I'll be out of a job in a month. So I guess this company does this quite often...

That's sad. 05.Dec.2006 06:40

Happy to Serve Rich Assholes

They're closing ALL FIVE? They certainly didn't seem to mention that in this month's installment of WILD TIMES.

I have some rants of my own here:
I've been getting sick and effing tired of their business decisions. How does it make any sense when they cut my hours practically in HALF this year when we were doing worse in sales last year? Again, how does it makes sense to cut budget on things we actually need (bags for the front end, cups, deli containers, price tag sheets, etc)? How does it make sense to make one department manager do all the work (inventory, ordering, cleaning, making the schedule, working on the GL, etc) on a shit salary? And the return policy? Don't get me started on that one, it's a joke.

I'm rather glad I'm taking my leave of this place.

Some other rants of mine:
I started out young in this place and believed in the good of the mission... but as time went by all I came to see was a place where prissy rich assholes could come and expect to get waited on by me, to absorb their every frivolous complaint, and to take it all with a smile and a thank you. I guess most people are assholes when they're customers, but I found the clientele in this store to be less respectful than the lower-income-bracketed families I served at the local movie theaters years back.

Wild Oats is all about the environment. And yes, I'm about to state the obvious here: CORPORATIONS ARE WASTEFUL, EVIL, ENTITIES. No matter who it is, Procter & Gamble or The Oats, their mission statements are always dishonest. Does or did your store have the Wooden Nickle program? $.05 to the charity box of your choice? Total bullshit. The ASM's partially emptied the boxes out and refilled the register drawers with them. I'll end with the being wasteful thing (since I'm finding myself getting a little angrier). Do you know how much paper we throw away daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? And for that matter, all the food that isn't worthy of the salesfloor but perfect for normal consumption? We recycle absolutely NOTHING at our store. Don't let the statements on your shopping bags fool you, folks, we waste just as much as everyone else. Half of it probably rots faster, though, what with the corn containers and the organic produce, but I doubt that would biodegrade fast enough at the bottom of a landfill... so what's the goddamn point? I guess it's to make those rich yuppie talking-on-the-phone-while-drinking-a-latte-from-starbucks-while-driving-a-hummer assholes feel better about their otherwise wasteful, useless existences. I guess everyone needs their niche.