Saturday, May 9, 2009

Food City (&Bashas Family?) smear what they refer to as the 'UFCW smear campaign' ...

Received a $5.00 Food City coupon in the mail today. The coupon is attached to a mailer suggesting that the UFCW is trying to destroy Food City. Really, as if the employees did not need and want jobs!

Food City has Community Pride; is Clean and Safe; is a Brand You Can Trust; and has Strong Values ... they say so themselves and have nice pictures of two cute little boys (black), a group of employees (mostly brown), a smiling Eddie Basha (immigrant, 3 generations ago), and a man in a uniform (apparently white with light tan) giving a little boy (apparently brown, or tanned) a shot.

A mailer about such an important subject that presents its case as if it were advertising a product doesn't back up their statement that they have Strong Values. If anything if says the opposite.

From the UFCW web site:

Statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

(Phoenix, AZ) – The baseless lawsuit filed by the Bashas’ supermarket company against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) underscores the company’s disrespect for workers, consumers and the community.

Bashas' appears to be acting out in desperation, naming religious leaders, workers, journalists and their spouses in a lawsuit. It really is a sad day when a company unleashes its high priced lawyers in an effort to suppress the concerns of its customers and the communities where they operate.

Our coalition, Hungry for Respect, was formed by grocery employees, their union and community allies out of concern for the company’s practices.
Unlike Food City/Bashas the UFCW provides some specificity:
In the spring of this year, Hungry for Respect shoppers found and purchased 683 containers of expired infant formula from certain Bashas’ Supermarkets, AJs and Food City stores in Maricopa, Yuma and Pima Counties. We then did what was socially responsible and alerted the public to what shoppers found. The lawsuit does not refute the fact that Bashas’ was selling outdated infant formula to unsuspecting mothers.

In November, Hungry for Respect submitted to the Maricopa Board of Supervisors an analysis of county health inspections that found Food City stores had 47% more major violations per routine inspection than Bashas Supermarket stores from January 2005 through September 2007. We called upon Bashas' Inc. and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to take steps to close the health inspection track record gap between Food City and Bashas' stores.

A federal administrative judge recently found that Bashas’ Inc. broke the law and ordered the corporation to "cease and desist…interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of" their right to address workplace concerns through their union.
Food City/Bashas does not address the issues but does claim to be better than Ranch Market, Fry's and Safeway. Oh, and they have "deep respect for the Hispanic community and are proud that their employees come from diverse back grounds."

And don't forget that the Bashas family were immigrants ... three generations ago? All of which must somehow prove that Food City are the good guys and the union and the employees who want a union are the bad guys and deserve no respect or understanding even though Food City absolutely respects and understand its employees and the community it serves so Generously, Trustfully, Pridefully, Cleanly, Safely and with Strong Values.


Betsy Duren, Tucson, AZ said...

I like Food City for their diversity and low prices. But their anti-union practices and their evasive flyer seem pretty outrageous. Does anyone know what new developments brought up this issue again now? I see the UFCW press release was dated Dec. 2007. And what can we do now to help the Hungry for Respect coalition?

Gail said...

I haven't found much further info through google on the dispute between UFCW and Food City except the little I added in new posts. Food City has obviously started a nasty political type of campaign against the union and those of their employees who are pursuing unionization.

Based on the design of the flyer and an article in a 'conservative' web site I don't think any real facts are going to come from the Food City side. I would like to hear more about this from the union and employee side though.

Betsy Duren, Tucson, AZ said...

Bizarre. The conservative article you cited in your new post claims Basha's is trying to "re-direct the PR war to a more equal footing"; but the current PR on the union and employee side seems nonexistent! I too couldn't find it on Google. And even though I live near a Food City, I never saw the alleged "Hungry for Respect" flyers which the new Food City mailer claims to be refuting. Maybe it's all a pre-emptive strike by Basha's against the union...