Thursday, May 30, 2013

Whole Foods policies

And from this article:

"But something sinister lurks beneath the surface of Whole Foods' progressive image. Somehow, Mackey has managed to achieve multimillionaire status while his employees' hourly wages have remained in the $8 to $13 range for two decades. With an annual turnover rate of 25 percent, the vast majority of workers last no more than four years and thus rarely manage to achieve anything approaching seniority and the higher wages that would accompany it. If Whole Foods' workers are younger than the competitions, that is the intention."

"Indeed, Mackey is no progressive, but rather a self-described libertarian in the tradition of the Cato Institute. He combines this with a strong dose of paternalism toward the company's employees."

"Using a carrot and very large stick, Mackey managed to 'convince' Whole Foods workers across the country to vote in 2004 to dramatically downgrade their own health care benefits by switching to a so-called consumer-driven health plan – corporate double-speak for the high-deductible/low-coverage savings account plans preferred by profit-driven enterprises."

"Preventing Whole Foods workers from unionizing has always been at the top of Mackey's agenda, and the company has been successful thus far at crushing every attempt. Perhaps the company's most notorious attack on workers' right to unionize occurred in Madison, Wis., in 2002. Even after a majority of workers voted for the union, Whole Foods spent the next year canceling and stalling negotiation sessions -- knowing that after a year, they could legally engineer a vote to decertify the union. Mission accomplished."

"At the mere mention of the word "union," Whole Foods turns ferocious. Even when United Farm Workers activists turned up outside a Whole Foods store in Austin, Texas, where Mackey is based, the company called the police and had them arrested for the 'crime' of passing out informational literature on their current grape boycott."

"Whole Foods' nationwide campaign required workers to attend 'union awareness training' complete with Power Point presentations. At the meetings, store leaders asserted, "Unions are deceptive, money-hungry organizations who will say and do almost anything to 'infiltrate' and coerce employees into joining their ranks," according to Whole Foods workers who attended one such meeting."

"When rumors recently began circulating that a union drive might be brewing in San Francisco, the response from the company was immediate -- including mandatory "morale meetings" to dissuade employees."

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