Looks like it's time to boycott Loblaws T&T George Weston Joe Fresh Super Store No Frills Shoppers etc.

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NorthReport
Looks like it's time to boycott Loblaws T&T George Weston Joe Fresh Super Store No Frills Shoppers etc.

 

Who is up to the task?

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loblaw_Companies

NorthReport

So the fat cats hierarchy running Loblaws think it is ok for themselves to be rich and stay rich, and for the poor to be poor, and stay poor. the Weston/Loblaw clique are leading the fight against minimum wage increases. Fuck that I say, it's time for a boycott of all their stores now, although Amazon businesswise will be destroying them shortly, and I highly recommend you dump your Loblaw's stock, and encourage anyone else you know, or can influence, like your pension plan investors, to do the same.

 

 

 

 

Loblaw warns minimum wage hike will mean cost cuts

 

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/07/26/loblaw-says-minimum-wage-hike-will-...

lagatta4

I have no Loblaws stock or any other stock or pension investments, but while I certainly agree with the idea behind this campaign, in some areas many people who don't have cars - or these days, poor working people who might have one of thoe things but has to use it as little as possible - may not have any choice to shop at somewhere but the various Loblaws banners. I rarely shop there except for loss leaders (ground turkey this week) but will certainly abstain as there is a serious boycott initiative. But where I live there are many independent small shops, and both Metro and IGA are closer by. That is not the case for many shoppers. Opposition to these impoverishers requires a "variety of tactics". This is an important cause, and also relates to how SEARS is treating its workforce.

6079_Smith_W

It is complicated. Our local store is an extra foods, and my first priority is to keep it open. Same goes for the No Frills which is the only food store other than Giant Tiger near the food desert on Saskatoon's west side. And if you want to send a package, there is no choice but Shoppers unless you want to drive out of town to a rural post office. I agree with you about pressuring Loblaws on this, but I won't take part in any boycott that might move more dollars to WalMart or shut down local stores. Too bad, because if there were other options that wouldn't cause more harm than good I would support it.

NorthReport

Sell your stock in Walmart too as they don't have a future either

Was thinking more about urban areas for the boycott 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, for places where there is an option I think it is a very good idea, and there is also the issue of Loblaws using sweatshop labour for their clothes. Though really, this whole matter is in the hands of government. if they raise the minimum wage it does not matter what Loblaws thinks. That is where the first effort should go.

lagatta4

Saskatoon is an urban area - just not one of the largest ones. Many mid-sized cities have the kind of problem Smith is describing. I'd certainly go along with a boycott here in Mtl, although I'd have to change my default post office (to one not much farther away, but across a street that is VERY dangerous to cross). Due to the importance of Métro here, we probably have fewer places with a Provigo (Loblaws banner here) monopoly, but there are some.

6079_Smith_W

Another complicating factor is that before there were many South Asian and Middle Eastern groceries here in Saskatoon (there are many now) Superstore was the only place that had a serious supply of that kind of food, as well as Oriental. It is still the only one of the major chains which does so, both in dry goods and produce. They have really good and in some cases obscure  tropical food you simply cannot get anywhere else. Superstore on 8th is probably the only large store in Saskatoon where it might feel like you are in Toronto or Vancouver because there is not an overwhelming majority of white people there (still a majority at most times of the day).

They also own T and T Foods now. I don't think they moved in those directions simply because they saw a profit, because they did it at a time those communities were still small.

So again, not to take away from their bad position on minimum wage, but it is complicated. On the other side of things, some people in that company have been doing things right. So why are they being so money-grubbing on the other hand?

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
So why are they being so money-grubbing on the other hand?

Isn't that literally their "fiduciary duty"?  Aren't they obligated to look out for the shareholders who invested in them in much the same way that a union steward is obligated to put the interests of a worker ahead of the interests of a shareholder?

This is one of those weird things that nobody understands, and yet everyone totally understands.

If the people managing your pension fund stopped trying to choose wise investments that would grow your pension, and started instead choosing little "underdog" companies that "deserve a chance" and are bound to fail (thereby shrinking your pension) would you say "That's super!  It can't just be about making money!!"?

I think Loblaws just got quoted saying something every company is thinking.  Any company that wants to pay entry-level employees $15/hr is probably already doing so.  Any company who isn't should be assumed to be OK with min-wage as it is.

I'm not saying that's good or bad -- I'm just suggesting that we needn't pretend to be all shocked when a company doesn't say "Yes, yes, our profits are OBSCENE!  We're really terrible people but we want to do better!"

NDPP

I just got back from a shopping trip to No Frills and told the check-out that regrettably I would not be shopping there in future unless NF changed their public position and supported the raise in the minimum wage.  Others in the line up then also expressed their support. Try it and see if you don't get the same results...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Just curious, but which grocery store (that presumably is a supporter of $15/hr) will you be shopping at from now on?

If, say, Sobeys is all about $15/hr then tell us -- I'd consider trying to give them my business.

lagatta4

Here in Mtl, Metro has taken over Adonis, a small Lebanese chain with products from all over the Middle East (not only the Arab Machreq- also for Turkish and Farsi communities). We don't have a T&T yet, though. Adonis isn't at all as much of a bargain as it used to be.

6079_Smith_W

No,  gouging workers by arguing against a fair minimum wage is not fiducary duty any more than arguing for the return of slavery is.

Not paying people enough to be able to afford to shop in the store they work at isn't a very sustainable policy.

 

NorthReport

How many billions do the Weston family control now?

I mean how much is enough for these ahem entrepreneurs?

The redistribution of wealth can be readily solved  through taxation and inheritance taxes. What's not to like? And what are we waiting for?

 

But as epaulo13 demonstrated first the boycott, eh!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No,  gouging workers by arguing against a fair minimum wage is not fiducary duty any more than arguing for the return of slavery is.

Is there some "return to slavery" legislation in the pipeline?  You're comparing arguing "for" something that's nowhere near a reality with arguing "against" something that is.

Quote:
Not paying people enough to be able to afford to shop in the store they work at isn't a very sustainable policy.

If people who don't have a job can shop at NoFrills then I can't imagine why someone with a job -- at NoFrills -- can't.

6079_Smith_W

In the context of not paying people at all, not really. We already have WalMart with a business model that depends on its workers going to food banks.

What I said was that arguing against a fair minimum wage is no more part of their fiducary duty than arguing for a return to slavery is, and that is true. If we want to compare hyperbolaeic arguments, it is not their duty to grind people as far as they can in order to make a buck.

Nor is it their duty to build their company on something that is ultimately bad for the economy as a whole, and unsustainable, which not paying workers a living wage is.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
What I said was that arguing against a fair minimum wage is no more part of their fiducary duty than arguing for a return to slavery is

Arguing against paying more for something isn't quite equal to arguing FOR stealing something.

Quote:
Nor is it their duty to build their company on something that is ultimately bad for the economy as a whole, and unsustainable, which not paying workers a living wage is.

Here come the unproven assertions.  And here's me, silly enough to stick my neck out and call them unproven assertions.

I notice that we're already talking about a "fair" wage, as though that has already been settled.

If I wish to sell my old lawnmower on Craigslist, what's the "fair" price for it?

What I wish for?

What someone is willing to pay?

Where can I go look this up?

JKR

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Just curious, but which grocery store (that presumably is a supporter of $15/hr) will you be shopping at from now on?

If, say, Sobeys is all about $15/hr then tell us -- I'd consider trying to give them my business.

What about Walmart, Costco, and Whole Foods?

I'm sure these companies would be happy if we just concentrated on Loblaws.

Luckily raising minimum wages will treat all companies equally unlike this thread.

NDPP

Actually, COSTCO workers are paid comparatively well.  Around 20 per hour I believe. A $15 minimum wage is still a very bare minimum and should be supported by all. 

6079_Smith_W

Great minds think alike NDPP. I was just going to compare Walmart to Costco stock, speaking of fiducary duty.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=walmart+stock&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr...

https://www.google.ca/search?q=costco+stock&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&...

Steady rise over the past five years, compared with up and down. And WalMart has a reputation for grinding their suppliers as well as their workers. Plus Costco is unionized.

So no, politics of scarcity and force isn't always best for business. And no, CEOs have no obligation at all to enforce a policy like that.

 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I really don't like Loblaws. Their corporate plan seems to be to get into the best locations near public transit and lock out competition. Then they charge more and offer discounts via multi-pricing which is prejudicial towards those who are lower income and living alone who do not buy as much. This multi-pricing also is frequently on junk food which encourages people to buy more than they might otherwise which is bad for everyone as it is not good for public health.

I happen to shop at Freshco -- I am sure they are not saints but they prices are lower, the fresh food is fresh and they don't rely on multi-pricing to tell customers what volumes they need to buy. I do Food basics when the sales are good but the store near me is not as good with fresh food.

Sobey's have a downtown store and they use advertising of fliers that do not apply to that store unless you force them and they will price match themselves. They call it an Urban Fresh Store -- which really means a store that charges extra for being downtown and does not offer the suburban pricing.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Min wage increase is equitable for all businesses and will boost local economies as the gain to workers will still not allow for savings but 100% consumption. I could see how exporting companies might suffer but regardless, as laypeople and workers, it's good for us and our communities, economically, socially and equitably. For those that count the pennies on their investment returns are where the constant derision, false assertions and protestations arise. Unfortunately, they are also the drivers of any information, analysis and agendas we're likely to hear.

lagatta4

Oh, that damned multipricing! The Loblaws banners are the worst, including Pharmaprix (Shoppers in Qc). At least it keeps me from buying junk food, which is a good thing. But they also have multipricing on wholegrain pasta, tinned legumes and cat food. At Provigo, I've seen multipricing on fresh produce.

I know someone who works at the closest Provigo to me, at the corner of Parc and Jean-Talon (yes, there is a métro station right there). She only shops for loss-leaders there; otherwise she finds it too expensive, although workers might get a small discount.

NorthReport

 

The sad reality is that Costco workers who are well paid are not unionized, but Loblaw workers who are unionized are not well paid .

Go figure.

There is a lot of unionization at extremely low wages, which makes one wonder, what the fuck are these unions doing?

6079_Smith_W

Thanks for the correction, North Report. Some of their locations are UFCW. Not all. And none in Canada.

NorthReport

The only thing Loblaws will listen to is a boycot, or the threat of one.  Investors and Pensioners dump your Loblaw stock as it is going down, and with the coming inroads by Amazon ,Loblaw's stock is probably going to go down to stay.

Loblaws relents, will sell French’s ketchup after boycott threat

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/03/15/liberal-mpp-threatens...

 

 

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/03/15/liberal-mpp-threatens...

NorthReport
NorthReport

All the more reason to boycott Loblaws and all its affiliates

Now, it’s Loblaws/ExtraFoods/T&T/RealCanadianSuperstore that needs a hefty, long-term boycott.

A portion of every dollar you spend at any of that chain’s stores goes to fund the anti-social Fraser Institute and its campaigns to destroy the public education system in Canada.

The [Weston] family foundation has donated nearly $22 million to the Fraser Institute for its programs to destabilize the public education system and promote school choice and vouchers.

Milton Friedman was the inspiration for these programs. His 1995 Washington Post editorial said it all: “Public schools: Make them private.” And that’s what the Weston-Fraser partnership has set out to do.

But, wait, there’s more!

The Fraser Institute’s ability to obtain such vast sums from Weston may hinge on the fact that two Galen Weston cousins are Fraser Institute directors. They’re also on the board of the family foundation that doles out the money.

And it’s fine for people to express opinions and fund whatever they way. Within constitutional limits. But it’s also within our rights to oppose and boycott companies that are reprobates with anti-social tendencies.

http://politicsrespun.org/2014/04/expanding-our-2014-boycott-list-boycot...

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

What does this tell you about George Weston / Loblaws!

https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/advicecentre/get-more/drug-coverage/preferr...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I will, very occasionally, pop into the "Independent City Market" nearby -- another Loblaws clone.  Their prices are laughable for so many things, particularly when I compare them to the other Loblaws affiliate I visit, No Frills.  Same exact thing, 20-30% more.  But for what it's worth, ICM is great for bread.  And today they had cat food on sale.

They also have four or five "automated" checkouts.  I haven't used one, since I'm big on "cash" these days and they're debit only, but I expect that we could soon see more of them in all sorts of grocery stores and such, in the same way that many McDonald's now have "kiosks" where you place your order and pay for it with a tap.  As with ATMs and token vending machines and automated airline checkins, I doubt that most people will actually complain. 

I'm sorry if this sounds like some kind of "Conservative talking point" or whatever, but I do believe that when wages are set by legislation rather than market value, it shouldn't be surprising if businesses explore automation as a "one time" expenditure.  And really, who's actually dismayed that restaurants don't hire humans to wash the dishes in a sink, with a sponge any more?  Or that online banking doesn't require a teller?  Or that the only human required for your Amazon Prime purchase is some poor bastard who has to find what you bought in a warehouse the size of SkyDome and put it in a box?  They WILL replace that guy soon enough.

6079_Smith_W

Minimum wage is not setting wages by legislation as an alternative to letting the market settle it. Businesses are free to pay their employees more than the bare minimum, and the good ones do.

It is setting a minimum reasonable standard of a living wage, same as we have minimum standards - like having insurance -  for being able to put a car on the road, or rental standards. Employers who try and get around that or other employment standards? Well we all wind up paying for that in social assistance, health costs, bankruptcy costs, and food bank usage, and other ways in which people in poverty fall through cracks.

So to hold up market forces as some presumably better alternative is false. Minimum wage is simply a way to stop employers abusing their employees, nothing more.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
So to hold up market forces as some presumably better alternative is false. Minimum wage is simply a way to stop employers abusing their employees, nothing more.

I don't outright disagree with the idea of a minimum wage -- it's not like I've never been the lucky recipient of it.

I'm only suggesting that when legislation sets a minimum wage that's above what some employers think is the value that some employees bring, those employers are understandably going to look for alternatives.

FWIW, I totally and completely get that without a legislated minimum wage, wages would be a race to the bottom any time the supply of labour > the demand for labour.  I'm not suggesting that's better. 

But if an employer has to pay another few bucks an hour to the guy who gives you the payment stub at the local parking lot, that employer might be interested in whether a machine might also be able to print and spit out a ticket.

I guess another way to look at it would be to ask whether every job that everyone everywhere does is, in fact, worth $15/hr -- to the person paying that.  If not, then what?

6079_Smith_W

If the minimum wage in a jurisdiction is $15, then yes. That is what it is worth. That is the price of doing business same as every other cost we incur. And of course some businesses are going to look for cheaper alternatives if they feel they can't afford it. I don't disagree with you there.

My point is that employment standards are called standards for a reason - because they set what is reasonable and what is abuse. Whatever one thinks of market forces, it is a completely different issue.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That is the price of doing business same as every other cost we incur.

OK, except the government doesn't tell a baker that starting tomorrow, the cost of flour is $8 a pound.

Quote:
My point is that employment standards are called standards for a reason - because they set what is reasonable and what is abuse.  Whatever one thinks of market forces, it is a completely different issue.

But it's also why banks have two tellers, and three ATMs.  One can only hope those ATMs earn a living wage.

Have you ever used an ATM?  How are they not just electronic scabs?

 

NorthReport

 

Maybe the Alberta and British Columbia Governments and a few municipalities as well could give a hand up to the food coops

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/07/28/Who-Owns-Your-Grocery-Store/

Sean in Ottawa

I have in a few places including here called for a maximum. A maximum wage would be a function of the lowest wage in an organization or its contractor. It would include all compensation provided to the highest pai d earners in an organization. So the top wage to the CEO's would be limited by the lowest wage paid by the company.

NorthReport

Good!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I have in a few places including here called for a maximum. A maximum wage would be a function of the lowest wage in an organization or its contractor. It would include all compensation provided to the highest pai d earners in an organization. So the top wage to the CEO's would be limited by the lowest wage paid by the company.

That would certainly punish those wealthy CEOs.

But the state simply has no business telling a company what's the MOST they're legally allowed to pay for something.

The one (sort of) exception would be the government's own salaries.  They're certainly free to pay as much or as little as they wish to their own employees.  How about if MPs and MPPs had a starting salary pegged to the median income in Canada (currently $76K)?

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I have in a few places including here called for a maximum. A maximum wage would be a function of the lowest wage in an organization or its contractor. It would include all compensation provided to the highest pai d earners in an organization. So the top wage to the CEO's would be limited by the lowest wage paid by the company.

Would that require that the Edmonton Oilers cut Connor McDavids's salary? I think the NHL clubs in the US would appreciate that as McDavid and many other stars would quickly move to teams south of the border.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

To be fair, he could still make (let's say) 100x whatever the lowest-paid person at that arena makes.  So if the employee in the nachos concession stand makes $12/hr then he could make $1200, and if he's on-ice for 40 minutes out of 3 periods of 20 minutes, that's 800 bucks, man!  It's all about the Bordens!

NDPP

Employers Have Been Panicking About the Minimum Wage For Decades

https://buff.ly/2hwQmHc

"Here is just a short history of employer organizations and the right-wing crying wolf about the minimum wage in Ontario..."

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I have in a few places including here called for a maximum. A maximum wage would be a function of the lowest wage in an organization or its contractor. It would include all compensation provided to the highest pai d earners in an organization. So the top wage to the CEO's would be limited by the lowest wage paid by the company.

That would certainly punish those wealthy CEOs.

But the state simply has no business telling a company what's the MOST they're legally allowed to pay for something.

The one (sort of) exception would be the government's own salaries.  They're certainly free to pay as much or as little as they wish to their own employees.  How about if MPs and MPPs had a starting salary pegged to the median income in Canada (currently $76K)?

Please be careful with google and pay attention to your figures: Let me start first by saying that the median income in Canada is nowhere near $76k. I know where you got that -- that was the median FAMILY income in 2013.

I guess you got it from here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/wealthiest-1-earn-10-times-more-than-ave...

It also says "the median individual income is just $27,600." Of course that includes everyone.

Now to the substance of your statement: The state has no business telling a company the most they are allowed to pay. Well, that is not a fair point, you see this would be defined by where the company sets their lowest wage in the proposal I made. they can increase the bottom to increase the top.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I have in a few places including here called for a maximum. A maximum wage would be a function of the lowest wage in an organization or its contractor. It would include all compensation provided to the highest pai d earners in an organization. So the top wage to the CEO's would be limited by the lowest wage paid by the company.

Would that require that the Edmonton Oilers cut Connor McDavids's salary? I think the NHL clubs in the US would appreciate that as McDavid and many other stars would quickly move to teams south of the border.

Connor McDavid works for an NHL team. I am not sure that those with concessions would fairly be described as contractor to that team. The NHL is a profitable venture and a lot of money is spent. There are not a lot of low earners that would be affected. McDavid at 12.5 million is not the high side of CEO salaries:

The top CEOs in Canada make 193 times that average worker pay at 9.5 million. Some of them are making far more than 193 times their lowest paid worker (in many cases minimum wage). The proposal I have is that we set a number. Let's say it is a round 200.  This would mean that if minimum wage is $11 per hour (on a 40 hr week) the CEO of a company would have to increase it to get a raise above $4.5 million.

Sure we can have an argument here about whether 200 time the lowest salary for a profit making company is enough.

The point is that this could force some execs to considering the lowest wages they pay when calculating their highest.

Now if the Oilers had to pay their lowest employee $62,500, I would not cry. They probably should. But the comparison is unreasonable becuase employees -- athletes and artists -- are not comparable to those setting the wages -- execs in boardrooms. Athletes alse earn their elite pay in a few years, given how short their careers are. But for the sake of argument, I would be okay limiting this 'maximum pay' to execs who decide wages for others, excluding any who bargain through independent agents or unions or those who earn royalties from creative works. Clearly that is not the intention. (Not that many who earn royalties for creative works make that much.)

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

To be fair, he could still make (let's say) 100x whatever the lowest-paid person at that arena makes.  So if the employee in the nachos concession stand makes $12/hr then he could make $1200, and if he's on-ice for 40 minutes out of 3 periods of 20 minutes, that's 800 bucks, man!  It's all about the Bordens!

Sorry. That's silly. Really silly.

The game is a performance. If you think that they lie around the rest of the time then I think you should refrain from making sports analogies.

And using sports salaries, you know you are not working within the normal anyway. A policy suggestion like mine could easily accomodate details and exceptions. The issue here is the boardroom decisions to pay CEO salaries up to hundreds of times the front line workers.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Sorry. That's silly. Really silly.

I was being facetious.  I cannot actually imagine Canada EVER limiting the amount of money a sports hero can make.

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The game is a performance. If you think that they lie around the rest of the time then I think you should refrain from making sports analogies.

I know.  But I doubt that Elon Musk punches out at 5:01pm, M-F, and lays around the rest of the time either.

Quote:
And using sports salaries, you know you are not working within the normal anyway.

That's why I always enjoy when sports salaries come up (or, when I'm the one bringing them up!).  I keep hoping that at some point some progressive will give us some plausible reason for why they should be any kind of exception. 

Folk are fond of saying (of a CEO) "nobody NEEDS to make millions of dollars a year!  It's obscene!", but evidently if some 23 year old forward might be the one to help their favourite team bring home Lord Stanley's Cup, then THAT person definitely NEEDS to make millions.  Suddenly it's no longer obscene.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Sorry. That's silly. Really silly.

I was being facetious.  I cannot actually imagine Canada EVER limiting the amount of money a sports hero can make.

Quote:
The game is a performance. If you think that they lie around the rest of the time then I think you should refrain from making sports analogies.

I know.  But I doubt that Elon Musk punches out at 5:01pm, M-F, and lays around the rest of the time either.

Quote:
And using sports salaries, you know you are not working within the normal anyway.

That's why I always enjoy when sports salaries come up (or, when I'm the one bringing them up!).  I keep hoping that at some point some progressive will give us some plausible reason for why they should be any kind of exception. 

Folk are fond of saying (of a CEO) "nobody NEEDS to make millions of dollars a year!  It's obscene!", but evidently if some 23 year old forward might be the one to help their favourite team bring home Lord Stanley's Cup, then THAT person definitely NEEDS to make millions.  Suddenly it's no longer obscene.

 

I am not saying that these salaries are not excessive but athletes are marketing their labour to people who are paying and their careers can be over in an instant. This is not the same as CEOs with huge companies deciding their own salaries and those of thousands of others.

Interestingly, Musk only takes a $40k salary. His earnings come from growing his company's value. That said he eventually will take income from it but I don't think he has minimum wage employees either -- or anywhere close...