Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is Springfield Vermont's most overpriced grocery store getting ready to bolt? Is it true that grocery stores care not a whit about workers or onions?

Is Springfield Vermont's most overpriced grocery store getting ready to close it's doors and leave the City of Lights?
If most Springfieldites now usually trek to a "--------'s" or a "M----- B-----" in another city or another state in order to find a nicer selection of fruits and vegetables or more fair prices anyway, will they notice what will otherwise be a huge void in the Springfield Plaza? Who knows?
Rumors are rampant, to be sure, and the focus of the conversation is not the passing of "----'s", per se, (could it be that no one will miss high prices and ancient onions?). On the contrary, the question on everyone's lips is as to whether "M----- B-----" or "--------'s" will step in to take the location freed by the closure of "----'s".
That is a good question, because another related rumor swirling about deals with the troubling matter of alleged increased mean-ness of the allegedly already draconian management at "--------'s", where the workers are allegedly being unreasonably pressured to meet unrealistic production goals.
To be sure, dumping the old worker is nothing more than a time-honored method employed by managers acting on behalf of owners and shareholders, allowing them to abandon commitments to workers, and to unload both those very workers who may have faithfully worked for years for low wages, and their already meager benefits packages. After all, if you the business owner are unwilling to offer decent benefits or to pay fair wages to your workers, or if you are unwilling to honor commitments as the time approaches to act on them, and if you can see the approach of a given worker's retirement age and all the attendant responsibilities as nothing but bother, then the best way to get free from that tar baby situation is to dismiss the party to whom you owe any responsibility - killing both the high hourly wage and any full-time benefits paid to a mature worker, and killing any pension or retirement benefits promises, all in one fell swoop, (it is a sweet tradition, just look at medieval kings in France and England, where the pattern was for the king to borrow to the hilt and then kill the money-lender).
"Got a worker who has had the nerve to stay on until he is almost making a decent hourly rate? Give him or her unrealistic production goals, set the computers so that he or she never achieves goals, and sit back and wait for them to quit out of frustration! Waiter! More champagne!"
Beyond that, by replacing full time workers with new part time workers, the owners of a business can present a profile that is more attractive to potential buyers if the property is on the block ("For sale, one grocery store chain, staffed by part-timers with no benefits and at slave wages!"). Is "--------'s" positioning itself in order to look more attractive in the market?
If "--------'s" is for sale, is it really the best grocery store for Springfield, Vermont?
Emptor caveat.