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Open Letter to Raley's/Nob Hill Management

Open Letter to Raleys/Nob Hill Management

Fellow Patch Readers, I sent this via email to Raleys/Nob Hill management after I received an email full of special offers enticing shoppers to cross the union picket lines to take advantage of them.  

Nob Hill has sent special offers before, but this really stuck out because it was more than was usually offered, and it arrived in my inbox the day the picket lines went up.  

As I state below, the offers are tempting, but I'm not willing to turn my back on people that live and work in my town and sell my values so cheaply.

________________________________________________________

Dear Raleys/Nob Hill Management:

I was sorely disappointed to receive an email offering several attractive specials, including what basically amounted to a $5 bribe to cross the picket lines, not once, but twice.  

I have several choices of grocery stores in Alameda, but I choose to go out of my way to shop at Nob Hill because it is easy in so many ways. The store is clean and well laid out.  I like the quality and breadth of your products.  Your prices are competitive and often cheaper than the other groceries in town.  I like your website and online specials. 

But most of all, I like your staff.  They seem like they want to be at work.  They are helpful and polite.  Whereas I don't consider the staff my friends (nor I am sure, do they I), they are always friendly.  And not only to me, they are helpful, polite, courteous and friendly to all your customers.  They make the store what it is. In fact, to name names, that is precisely why I avoid shopping at either of the two Safeways in Alameda because their respective staffs act as though they are doing me a favor to let me shop at the store!

Therefore, your offer of great deals, cash incentives and the like are very disappointing to me because they are undermining the great staff at your store who happen to belong to a union.  A union that cannot come to an agreement with you on employee benefits.  I am not a union member, and in fact have been on the management side in labor negotiations, so I'm not exactly a union sympathizer.  But these offers seem very underhanded and a sneaky way to ask me to undermine your staff that live and work in my community and make a mundane chore, grocery shopping, just a little more pleasurable.  Like the folks that make up your staff, I too need to budget to make ends meet, so these offers are very tempting.  However, I will not take advantage of them because I am not willing to undermine that same staff who are trying to preserve their benefits and make their own budgets liveable.

Before you send anymore of these to your email subscribers, please consider what this is doing to your corporate image of a family-friendly, cares-about-the-community company.  Because some of us consider your staff a part of our community, to undermine them in this way tarnishes your image and makes people like me rethink our decision to shop at your store.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Carol Parker November 08, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Does anybody know how the rally is going that was to start at 5 p.m.?
Anonymous November 08, 2012 at 08:20 AM
I am a Nob Hill Alameda employee and I too would like to know the companies response to this email. I have worked for the company for 12 years and picketing in front of my store is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. However, I am fighting for what I think is right. Benefits and a fair contract.
Jeff Mark November 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I'm with you.
Bay Farm Parent November 08, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Fellow readers, I received this email this morning in reply. (part 1 of 2) Thank you for contacting us regarding our ongoing labor dispute with the unions representing our employees, UFCW Locals 5 and 8. We appreciate your taking the time to write in, and appreciate your opinion and expression in this difficult time for our company. The issues facing Raley's and the unions are varied and nuanced. We are facing a strike because we are struggling to find common ground with the union leadership: they refuse to accept the difficult financial situation our company is in. It is our belief that we could have avoided the store closures we have had to make, if only the union had negotiated in good faith and committed to reaching an agreement last December. While we have already implemented and will continue to implement cost saving measures at our corporate office and non-union stores, the union has continued to ignore the economic challenges and fierce marketplace we face by refusing to share in these cuts. Raley’s has granted numerous contract extensions since October to give the union the time it said it needed to reach an agreement. The decision was made not to extend the contract because the union has refused to negotiate in a responsible manner and has ignored our pleas for cost savings by prolonging this process.
Bay Farm Parent November 08, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Part 2 of 2 - Raley's reply to my email We were faced with a difficult decision: to swallow the increasing costs we have faced over the past 3 years causing even more store closures and employee layoffs, or implement the contract to gain the cost savings we so desperately need. We hope you can understand our position; we truly appreciate having you as a customer and look forward to many more years serving you and our community as a whole. If you would like to see the contract that we have proposed to the union, you can visit this website: bit.ly/TsnSp5. We believe it is decent, fair, and still an industry leading proposal. Sincerely, Jessica Greene Raley's Service Center

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