Friday, August 15, 2008

Management, More thoughts on BJ's in Brooklyn, Comments

So that article we spoke about in yesterdays blog (regarding healthy, affordable food for community residents and sustainable quality jobs for the community) is getting a lot of press throughout the blog world. 

Two popular local blogs picked up the BJ's story asking readers if they felt BJ's was right for their community....Queens Crap.....and The Gothamist.
What's all your thoughts on Management promotions?
There's been a lot of comments and talk with employees regarding the wrong people in the wrong positions at the clubs.
One blogger said:
"What are Rich and Michele thinking by making Angela a manager. She will NOT be able to handle it."

Comment from yesterday noted one of a great idea from an employee...
"What corporate should do is contact former employees (hourlies and management) to find out the what REALLY happens at the clubs."
 What are your independent thoughts?
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

New York City Supermarkets evaporating, BJ's isn't the answer...

In Today's NY Daily News, Albor Ruiz highlights the effect of 'Big Box' stores, specifically BJ's Warehouse Club's who require shoppers to bay a 'membership fee' in an urban environment. These stores cannot be the solution to this growing problem of Food Access that New Yorkers continue to face. New Yorkers need a supermarket, not a Warehouse club. We need Good Food+ Good Jobs, which will lead to Good Health. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"One of our issues with the warehouse club stores is also an issue with the mayor," said Grocery Workers Union organizer Pat Purcell. "The city did a study and determined that we need at least 100 supermarkets in the city, not more BJ's."

It is precisely in Verderosso's neighborhood where the latest episode of this "Big Fish Eats Little Fish" reality series is developing right now.

Two giant BJ's Warehouse Club stores are planned for Brooklyn - one off the Belt Parkway in Bensonhurst, and the other at the site of the old Key Food Warehouse at the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie.

"I have lived here all my life, and I know that many people are on tight budgets. They - especially the elderly - need a supermarket in their neighborhood," said the Brooklyn-born Verderosso, who has three children.

"These club stores put everybody out of business. When they are no longer profitable, they close, leaving behind an empty building and a neighborhood in decay."

According to the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, BJ's stores gross more than a million dollars a week in sales and attract around 7,000 cars a day. Their impact on the existing supermarkets would be nothing short of devastating.

Read the entire story here.

We'd love to hear what you all think...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

BJ's biggest problem....Management

Whether you work in Massachusettes, Maryland or anywhere in between, every BJ's worker we speak to shares a common issue...poor management. It seems as though if you're in the good graces of a DM, GM or any manager you can advance and do well at BJ's. If for some reason you are not a favorite of your local management than you will experience a loss of hours, a change in job descrition or an icreased workload...regardless of your seniority.

South Jersey seems especially hard hit by this problem. As one anonymous NJ worker put it
"I don't know if the powers that be are just clueless... Do they take this into account when coming up with the clubs' payroll or are they just keeping it at an unreachable goal" (posted 7/13/08)

Is the management just trained improperly or is this behavior encouraged by BJ's at the corporate level? Or are top managers so interested in keeping payroll down that they ask the impossible of workers? Either way there is clearly a problem at BJ's that runs from the top down!

Hopefully the company will take steps to address this issue...but you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

Monday, August 04, 2008

UFCW to BJ's "expect a fight"

From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance.

As Crain's Insider is reporting there's a move afoot to stop the proliferation of BJs Warehouse Clubs in Brooklyn. As Crain's points out: "United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is gearing up to stop two BJ’s Wholesale Club locations from opening in Brooklyn. One project, in Bensonhurst, requires City Council approval. UFCW is counting on Councilman Domenic RecchiaBJ’s won’t be a tenant. Recchia is a friend of labor but also of developer Joe Sitt. UFCW’s Pat Purcell says BJ’s pays poorly and shuns low-income customers by charging a membership fee and not accepting food stamps. The union is also trying to keep BJ’s out of the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie. “We will spare no expense,” Purcell vows."

What the UFCW is trying to do is to prevent the further erosion of neighborhood supermarkets. In a two mile radius of the Brooklyn Terminal Market there are 26 local stores that will be put at risk by the box store. At the same time that the mayor, and his able aide Ben Thomasses, are talking about supermarket preservation, there's no effort to curtail the box stores that will put these stores at greater risk. Something needs to be done, and the Alliance will be part of this effort.
to ensure that