Days before city-mandated ‘hazard pay’ for grocery-store workers takes effect, PCC argues against it

The city says that the new law requiring $4/hour “hazard pay” for most grocery-store workers will take effect next Wednesday (February 3rd). It mandates the extra pay for workers whose employers have at least 500 workers worldwide. That includes PCC Community Markets, whose 15 stores include one in West Seattle. The chain’s new CEO Suzy Monford has sent a letter to the mayor and city council arguing against the mandate. The letter is published on the PCC website and was called to our attention by several West Seattle store employees, one of whom wrote, “As we read the letter today, many of the staff felt betrayed and belittled by our CEO’s words.” In the letter, Monford writes:

… *Our collective focus should be on vaccination. Grocery workers need expanded access to vaccines to keep them protected from COVID both at home and at work. PCC Community Markets has had only 36 of our 1710 staff contract COVID since last February. No infections were determined to be contracted at work and 33 of those infections were determined to result from infection at home or outside of work. Our staff should be protected throughout their day – including at home – so that we can keep them on the job and healthy. PCC is offering a $25 gift card to our staff members who get vaccinated to move our workforce in that direction. …

*Washington grocery stores are safe places to work. It is safer to work in a grocery store than work in goods production or government. According to a Washington State Department of Labor and Industries report issued in November 2020 (see attached), only 5% of all non-health care COVID workplace outbreaks occurred in grocery stores, and grocery stores accounted for less than 2.8% of all workplace outbreaks. …

*Independent grocers are proactively acting to protect our staff members from COVID. The low outbreak rates reported by the State of Washington are due to grocers’ effort and should be acknowledged. When COVID hit, independent grocers began to meet and share safety best practices through the Washington Food Industry Association. We proactively instituted controls, in many cases, before they were released by local health officials. We deployed mask mandates, instituted extensive new cleaning protocols, increased air filtration in our stores and rolled out barriers between customers and staff prior to the availability of guidance from health departments. …

*Independent grocers have a slim profit margin. Large scale grocers may see a decent profit margin, but most independent grocers have less than a 0.5% profit margin, according to the Washington Food Industry Association. The cost of COVID response, including the safety controls that we have committed to in order to keep our staff safe and the additional pay, have cut our margins to the bone. A growing contingent of our customers (about 4% of all transactions and growing) use third-party online delivery services to whom we have to pay a significant percentage of each purchase for use of the service. This ordinance disproportionately harms local, independent grocers like PCC Community Markets, which in 2019 had $1.7M in net income. That may sound like a lot, but to put that in context, PCC spent $3M – or nearly 2X 2019 net income — in COVID-related expenses in 2020, including staff member appreciation pay, bonuses and in-store safety protocols, since the start of the pandemic. …

You can read the entire letter here. In conclusion, Monford tells the mayor, “We hope, given local business concerns, you’ll consider not signing the bill, or alternatively, modify it to exclude the smaller, local grocers who will be deeply damaged by this ordinance.” A PCC worker who emailed us counters, “We have been coming to work every day in the face of real threats to our health, and we just want to be fairly compensated for that risk.”

Side note: To the point of focusing on vaccination, the city announced today that the SFD Mobile Vaccination Teams will vaccinate 400 high-risk grocery workers “in the coming days.” The announcement doesn’t say where and when – only that it’s in partnership with UFCW Local 21, which represents 46,000+ grocery workers.

142 Replies to "Days before city-mandated 'hazard pay' for grocery-store workers takes effect, PCC argues against it"

  • Curry January 29, 2021 (7:17 pm)

    I’ll bet you that person will be persona non grata whenever she shows her face at one of her PCC stores!

    • Will S. January 29, 2021 (8:01 pm)

      I’ll bet you the real winners here are the CEOs of grocery store chains that have already replaced cashiers with robots.

      • Auntie January 29, 2021 (9:01 pm)

        Or the rich donors to medical facilities who are somehow now first in line for vaccination. Money = privilege. Let the rich live and to heck with the poor!What they don’t realize is if their servants all got COVID, they would have to clean and cook for themselves. What a pity.

      • waikikigirl January 30, 2021 (7:31 am)

        Think about this everyone…will the extra $4.00 per hour stop you from getting the Covid?! Is the $4.00 per hour going to put up this invisible safety shield around the worker and keep them from getting it? I have to agree with the CEO on this one, no extra pay will keep you any safer than you yourself can do on your own. Wear a mask, stay home as much as possible and when you must go out social distance. Also get the vaccine whenever it is available.My husband and myself are both essential workers and have had to work out in the public from day one and yes the extra pay would be nice but you can’t spend if you are lying in a hospital bed on a ventilator or dead.

        • Llama mamma January 30, 2021 (11:24 am)

          No, but I think the point is to compensate better, considering the new health risk and increased stress, involved in their work environment. This is about fair compensation and taking care of people. 

          And, this additional pay may help maintain this workforce of frontline grocery workers, during a pandemic, when some will become sick and have to quit or may choose to quit because of concerns.

          I support hazard pay for grocery workers. We need to take care of one another, and grocery workers in our community need our respect and support.

          I wonder if these workers would have been satisfied with a different amount. One model idea that may have been good is something like $1 additional an hour, with the potential for a $1 raise in hazard pay every 2 months a grocery worker maintains an average of a certain hours per week (15 or 20?), up to $5 cap on hazard pay.

          I think we may agree though, that what is most important is worker and public safety in these environments. Measures should be continually reviewed and discussed and improvements implemented wherever possible.

    • SuzyMustGo January 30, 2021 (10:08 am)

      Grocery clerks have been forced to be the guinea pigs on the front lines since the start of the pandemic so the rest of us can shelter in place in the safety of our homes. Many have paid the ultimate price by getting sick or dying, or exposing their families to the dangers of COVID,  and this continues today. Suzy’s attitude is anathema to the image PCC works so hard to portray, one of community generosity. I am disgusted by her position refusing to acknowledge the contribution of her employees  and I encourage everyone to write to PCC’s board and ask for her dismissal. Stand with PCC employees.

      • Sonia S January 30, 2021 (12:49 pm)

        Thank for you opinion, you are we are been there from day one no choice the government choose for us to keep working while the vast majority could stay home, lots of us got sick eventually even we extreme cautions at one point you get it that’s it.  I was healthy for. 9 almost 10 months until one day just came back sick now off work on leave no paid..

  • Sandy January 29, 2021 (7:29 pm)

    Only ten months late. If you’re going to give hazard pay, why wait until people have worked in the hazardous environment for ten months? It’s usually something someone gets for being in a hazardous environment not ten months after being in that environment. 

  • Ashley January 29, 2021 (7:50 pm)

    Is the mandatory $4 increase to each employee reimbursed to the grocery store by the city? 

    • Ryan January 29, 2021 (8:09 pm)

      What?!  Of course not.  The increase is only on large employers who can afford it.   Particularly those opening many new locations each year.  

      • Ashley January 30, 2021 (9:45 am)

        It’s unfortunate. I do think the government- local, state, federal – should do everything to protect the public by investing in the private companies who serve the public. 

      • Christine Vicino January 30, 2021 (9:57 am)

        500+ employees may seem like a lot, but I can tell you from experience (HR) that these labor- intensive industries make little-to-no profit.  The cost of COVID has already devastated them, not to mention the much higher rates of minimum wage and extra Paid Leave.  Just focusing on grocery store workers is so random anyway.. and the science doesn’t support city council’s conclusion.  All the law will do is wipe out independent chains and make more room for gigantic companies to take their place.  

        • Diane January 30, 2021 (11:49 am)

          I agree with your statement about slim profit margins. I also wonder why restaurant workers aren’t considered more of a priority where there can be customer contact for a longer period of time as well as they are removing masks to eat and drink.

        • Grocery worker January 30, 2021 (12:16 pm)

          It might surprise you to learn that unlike most other WA grocers, PCC doesn’t pay workers who have been exposed at work to quarantine, although I will say that we are allowed to exhaust our vacation and sick time and then to go on.public assistance. There was a huge problem in September where they were going to fire workers who were They also instituted this really strange policy in which if an asymptomatic worker chooses to get a test for peace of mind after a workplace exposure, we are not allowed to work until that negative result is received. When we’re not paid to quarantine, either, something seems a little weird there to me.

          • Melissa January 30, 2021 (5:10 pm)

            That seems bonkers. If people are exposed at work, it’s only fair that the employer pay them while they quarantine. When you take on employees, you take on responsibility for them. Or you should.

          • Factchecker February 2, 2021 (5:46 pm)

            False, anyone that tests positive is paid at PCC. Please get your facts straight before putting out incorrect facts.

      • Donald Stanek January 30, 2021 (11:53 am)

        What about Amazon?

        • Jerry January 30, 2021 (5:44 pm)

          I should’ve said union grocery stores in WA have made the concession of paying workers for quarantine. I am cool with burning through paid leave first. That’s what it’s there for. Just a difference I couldn’t help but notice.

  • Grocery shopper January 29, 2021 (8:01 pm)

    When I read that grocery stores are a safe place to work, I immediately thought of the 2 cases at Met Market. By the way, it just became less safe now that the UK variant has been detected in King County.

    • bj7 January 30, 2021 (8:50 am)

      I worked at met market for a short spell. That company is not any different. I wouldn’t work for them again if it were the only job I could get in this city. 

      • Tony C. February 1, 2021 (1:14 am)

        I love your chutzpah. I have a story about them that folks wouldn’t believe. I stopped shopping there about seven years ago. My reusable grocery bag reads, “Metropolitan Market, management you simply cannot trust”.

  • Ryan January 29, 2021 (8:12 pm)

    This CEO’s use of net income is intentionally misleading and absurd.  Companies can manipulate anything to reach a “net income” 

    • Emily January 30, 2021 (3:45 pm)


    • Joel January 30, 2021 (4:46 pm)

      This is also net income from 2019, a year in which the company opened multiple new stores. Net income doesn’t include reinvestment, so the company actually brought in way more than this. Also, 2020 profits were record breaking. Using 2019 numbers is again a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the reality of this company’s actual profits. 

    • Mary January 30, 2021 (5:15 pm)

      I hate to burst your bubble but “companies” are not  just open to employ and pay their employee, they’re open to do business to make a profit. Just ask any employer big or small and I bet there wouldn’t be all this stink or envy/jealousy if the City was telling small employers to pay the extra $4.00 per hour.

      • Hannah January 30, 2021 (6:56 pm)

        They are when they’re co-ops.  That’s kinda the whole point. 

  • Jkk January 29, 2021 (8:20 pm)

    I’ll bet CEO Suzy Monford sent that letter as she works from home with her nice warm jammies on collecting her same high end salary.  If it doesn’t effect you, you aren’t as willing to help.  Period.  If her child or family member worked at a grocery store I’m sure her response would be different.   

    • JJ January 30, 2021 (7:25 pm)

      This seems unnecessarily mean. You might disagree with her stance, but a personal jab like this is unwarranted. 

  • ITotallyAgreeWithYou January 29, 2021 (8:26 pm)

    PCC being my primary grocery store, I am so disappointed by CEO Suzy Monford’s response.  PCC customers pay a premium for the high standards they uphold and that includes valuing the employees. I am humbled by those who are regularly made vulnerable to Covid with the jobs they hold and think about that every time I need a service from someone. Her either/or narrative of focus on vaccinations instead of employee pay is a false dilemma and insulting. Both can be addressed without taking away from one another.  Reevaluate member dividends, reevaluate CEO pay, find a way to “yes”, leave no doubt that employees are valued.  I invite Suzy to reread the “About” page to be reminded of PCC’s roots to “advocate for our community”.

    • K January 30, 2021 (3:52 am)

      Likewise, and I’m reading now that PCC members can demand a meeting if 3% of members sign a request for a meeting with a stated purpose. No idea how anyone could go about making that happen right now, though. But I’d make the effort to sign.

      • Melissa January 30, 2021 (5:12 pm)

        Wow. Given how many people are connected, it seems like collecting 3% of the signatures of the members would be possible. I would absolutely sign, as well.

    • Lythea January 30, 2021 (8:45 am)

      As a PCC employee, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. We’ve been fighting against increasing corporatization for years now, and it’s good to know some of our customers have our backs.

      • DH January 30, 2021 (9:00 pm)

        I can only guess what you all pushing back on. I remember when I saw she came from Kroger I was worried. I’m going to look into how I can complain or do something about this as a member. This is not ok. Thanks for all you do! 

      • PW February 2, 2021 (7:50 pm)

        Anything your average Coop member do to prevent that?

  • flimflam January 29, 2021 (8:46 pm)

    Meanwhile, restaurant workers with few benefits, close contact with massless people are ready to rock! No hazard pay,  mostly no insurance,  nowhere on the vaccine timeline, people double masking, new strains…the decision to open indoor dining is really strange.

    • Diane January 30, 2021 (11:52 am)

      I agree! I have friends who work in the restaurant industry who are super frustrated they can’t just get a vaccine let alone hazard pay.

    • BWald January 30, 2021 (12:23 pm)


  • A January 29, 2021 (8:50 pm)

    I appreciate all the grocery store workers for their hard work during these difficult times. My question is why are they the only ones getting hazard pay? What about the TSA agents who are exposed to people from all over the world? What about the home depot employees, the lady who does your nails, the mailman, the list goes on and on. How is the city even allowed to do this? Also, anyone who is for this please don’t complain when there is literally zero cashier’s working at your local grocery store. They are already pushing us towards self checkout and this will only accelerate that. For every action there is a reaction and I think the city council isn’t bright enough to see that the reaction to this will be less hours for employees and a faster push towards replacing workers with automation

    • Jerry, grocery worker January 31, 2021 (5:29 pm)

      Funny you mention self-checkouts. You know PCC got rid of them. The new CEO mentioned wanting to reinstate them, so …

      • NW Citizen February 2, 2021 (10:01 am)

        I appreciate that PCC does not have self checkout machines. The quotes from the CEO’s letter imply that she is trading off employees getting vaccinated against giving them fair pay for hazardous work. It’s apples and oranges and not a fair comparison.

  • WS employee January 29, 2021 (8:55 pm)

    I don’t understand how they can justify not giving hazard pay because 1.) they offered a $25 gift card which can only get if we can find a way to vaccinate ourselves, 2.) they have low profit margins, and 3.) grocery stores are safe to work at. A one time $25 gift card is a insult. Net profit is a joke. During a company meeting they boasted about having highest profits each quarter since the pandemic started. So that’s a lie. Then there’s the safety issue. She claims “only 36” of us got sick. That’s 36 HOUSEHOLDS that were infected because we’re essential and forced to work. One of our stores shut down because they had an outbreak. 

    • Factchecker February 2, 2021 (5:51 pm)

      The store shut down for a day and a half and it was the first grocery store in the city to report a positive case. Now the stores do not shut down with a positive case and contact tracing is implemented immediately. Please keep those facts in mind as well.

  • M January 29, 2021 (9:07 pm)

    You mean to say that some actions, while well intended can have negative consequences? Perhaps being objective about issues to find real solutions is better than feel good initiative without regard to the opportunity costs. I’d prefer a city council focused on true leadership and a objective quest toward real solutions. #byelisa 

  • barbara s spector January 29, 2021 (9:17 pm)

    time to boycott PCC.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees January 29, 2021 (10:47 pm)

      PCC is a CO-OP owned by all of us who shop there. We’d only be boycotting ourselves.

    • Resident January 29, 2021 (11:16 pm)

      It took a lot of courage for her to publish that letter in a city like ours and knowing the pushback she would get from doing it. The city council’s got to stop spending other people’s money. Given the facts here around the number of infections and the number that resulted from being at work we can make a determination that there is very little actual risk here. If someone wants to post numbers that are different supported by data and not by emotions then I am open to walking my statement back. Otherwise I have to support PCC here.

      • Grocery Worker January 30, 2021 (5:22 am)

        There are other ways to save money – cut the CEO’s salary(why does a co-op have a CEO anyway?), stop hiring high cost anti-union lawyers during contract negotiations (currently ongoing), stop starting new costly programs (ex: PCCTV started a few weeks ago).

        The number of positive cases ignores the fact that when there is a positive case, an entire department is down. The majority of the department workers are out getting tested or quarantining. That means the other workers in that store and in other stores have to pick up the work and work twice or three times as hard to make up for their missing coworkers and so customers don’t miss out on whatever they came to buy. Each week we wonder which store the next positive result will come from. This week it was Greenlake Village.

      • Grocery worker January 30, 2021 (10:21 am)'ll be glad to cite yet more studies if you like.

    • Rb January 29, 2021 (11:36 pm)

      And once again, boycott only hurts the people you are trying to protect. The high net individuals are too much up the chain to get impacted. But the cashier, delivery guys, barista, etc. Would be the first ones to lose their job.

    • Lisa January 30, 2021 (8:18 am)

      Just what I was thinking….time to boycott and put pressure on the higher ups to do the right thing for their people. They have the money.

  • BH January 29, 2021 (9:33 pm)

    Give your hard working employees their hazard pay and feel relieved they aren’t asking for retro pay. So disappointed in PCC leadership. 

    • Zuzu January 29, 2021 (11:53 pm)

      Best comment on here. I would include a $100 bonus for getting the vaccine.

  • Elle Nell January 29, 2021 (9:53 pm)

    I have NEVER been impressed with Suzy. Since she has been in charge PCC has gone down hill… lost its community feel and has been pushed for profits. She should be ashamed and I WILL be BOYCOTTiNg  PCC, starting now!!

  • Kathleen S. January 29, 2021 (9:54 pm)

    As  a West Seattle PCC employee I was almost physically ill as I read our CEO’s email to us and subsequent letter to the mayor. The lack of concern for their loyal employees who show up to work everyday and continue to during a raging pandemic is quite frankly so unbelievable disrespectful I find it hard to find words. Our CEO starts her email to us “HI TEAMMATES”. As they say there is no I in team and I am not part of any team who treats their employees as lowly and under appreciated staff.

  • That one cashier January 29, 2021 (9:56 pm)

    Now you all pay attention to PCC and their corporate overlords. Cate Hardy was the last nail in the coffin for any sense of community at that store, when she worked the employees of a closing store into the ground and shipped us to other stores. Now you’re surprised. 

  • L January 29, 2021 (10:04 pm)

    Osha has been called about their failure to comply with social distancing workers in confined spaces in their smaller stores. They have been late to implement safety measures the whole time.

  • Peter January 29, 2021 (10:11 pm)

    It is unfortunate that the Seattle City Council made no attempt to work with the grocery association before they passed this legislation. We need more elected officials who understand the challenges of running a business. This increase will simply be passed down to shoppers, further making Seattle more expensive for everyone.

    • Hannah January 30, 2021 (6:27 am)

      As an employee, I almost agree with you.  The first time I heard that PCC would foot the bill I wondered if that made the most sense. Whether or not PCC has done enough to keep us safe, I would say that has not been the case.  Had they required masks right away, if we were allowed to actually enforce the rules, and call people out for their noses hanging out or poor excuses for a mask, maybe they shouldn’t have to.  If we were given n95s or masks that protect US, or if they had installed proper plexiglass BEFORE January 2021, I might agree.  Plain and simple, PCC has failed to protect our employees as best as they can, and therefore they put US at risk every single day.  There hasn’t been a day since March that I didn’t think about “Did that idiot just get me sick?”. “I don’t want to bring this home to my loved ones, am I doing enough to protect us?”.  We deserve to be compensated for that risk, just like anyone doing a job that requires putting your health on the line.   If PCC truly cannot afford this (which I’m not convinced we can’t), Suzy’s argument to Durkan should have been asking for some sort of assistance from the city to foot the bill, not to argue that her employees don’t deserve it.  I have never been more insulted than I was reading that letter.  Our brand new CEO started out the gate by telling us we don’t deserve hazard pay (she likes to call it Hero pay, which is insulting in itself).   She should be ashamed of herself, along with every higher up who thought this was a good move.  

      • Anthony January 30, 2021 (12:14 pm)

        Couldn’t agree with you more. Terrible first impression! She did come from Kroger though……

      • stellersjay January 31, 2021 (3:28 pm)

        I agree. It is leadership’s responsibility to find a way to say yes and how. To not even try to meet $4/hr by shaving other operational costs like CEO salary, marketing, etc. In 2019, according to PCC’s own financial statement, PCC spent more than $2.9 million on marketing. Also, there are more than $73 million worth of assets that can be borrowed against. I also lay this issue at the board. When the 2021 budget is being worked on, the board and CEO could have found ways to increase staff pay. They didn’t.

  • PPP January 29, 2021 (10:27 pm)

    The first bullet point in the letter says “Grocery workers need expanded access to vaccines to keep them protected from COVID at work,” then the second point says, “Washington grocery stores are safe places to work.” Well, which one is it? Both can’t be true. 

    • Resident January 29, 2021 (11:18 pm)

      They can actually both be true. How is it you think they can’t be? You can be safe and still want to get access to the vaccine can’t you?

      • PPP January 30, 2021 (8:06 am)

        Resident, she says they need vaccines for protection from Covid at work. Then she says work is safe. It’s like saying condoms are needed for protection from HIV, then in the next breath saying unprotected sex is safe.

    • Trey Antipasta January 29, 2021 (11:25 pm)

      It’s not really inconsistent in the context of the issue. If this really presents a hazard, vaccine access, not $4 is going to better protect the workers. However, she’s saying the stats don’t support the hazard. It’s just a way of saying that either way you look at it, hazard pay isn’t the answer.

      • PPP January 30, 2021 (8:08 am)

        Trey, that’s not what the letter says. Even if it did, the purpose of hazard pay is not to protect from Covid, it’s to compensate for increased risk. And as pointed out above, hazard pay and vaccine access are not mutually exclusive.

  • Bradley January 29, 2021 (10:47 pm)

    This Council is pandering to their donation base. Think 50+ employees times $4 per hour jacks a store payroll by $200 an hour times 12 or 16 hour PER DAY. Did they really think this through? •not when it’s other people’s money.

  • Anonymous January 29, 2021 (10:51 pm)

    This is complete BS BOYCOTT PCC

    • Frog January 30, 2021 (1:13 pm)

      Yes, totally !! Put PCC out of business — that’ll teach ’em; and let everyone shop / work at Wholeamazonfoods.  It’s a great opportunity to use the last phases of the pandemic to put as many grocery operations as possible out of business, so deep-pockets Amazon can emerge as more of a monopoly.  All right-thinking people are on board.  Are you?

  • Grocery worker January 29, 2021 (11:09 pm)

    This is about one of either two things — either Monford is laying out a case for not extending this benefit to PCC employees outside Seattle, or it’s a tactic to shut down the possibility of wage concessions in the contract currently under negotiation.  Over the last 10 years or so, journeymen have gotten a whopping 65 cents in raises.  PCC gives amazing health care and benefits, but far too many employees are on some form of public assistance. And this is done with no disclosure of executive compensation packages, which should be standard for a co-op. I’m stunned that members haven’t demanded that disclosure, particularly since PCC made an unpopular decision to do away with the 10% discount they offered customers once a month in favor of a dividend that may not even be offered in certain years. I do not begrudge executives fair compensation. They work hard, and many of them I know to be good people. Everybody has had a hell of a year — from supply chain issues to navigating COVID health risks, to frankly terrifying white supremacist/anti-masker protestors to anti-gentrification protests, while in the stores we’ve been dealing with all that, plus health risks, plus serving as defacto counselors for customers, vendors, and co-workers in various mental difficulties as the whole f-ing world burns around us. I kid you not, I had to mediate arguments over flour and yeast and to promise people early on, that yes, we’d still be open, and that yes, there would be food. I was yelled at and cursed for wearing a mask. I was yelled at and cursed because PCC was slow to mandate masks for all.  Unlike Thriftway, they only did it after Inslee demanded it. We had to maintain some sense of normalcy even when we were inwardly freaking out. We worked harder than ever to cover our coworkers who couldn’t work because of pre-existing conditions. Despite what Monford says, PCC wasn’t among the first to adopt worker protections or appreciation pay. Far from it. I saw Thriftway adopt worker safety measures far more quickly. Despite what she says, grocery work IS more dangerous. Just ask the 14 or so employees infected at an outbreak at Fred Meyer in Burien. One died. There are so many stories like that across our state and the country and world. PCC’s goals regarding environmental stewardship are laudable, but if employees are on food stamps and have to have public housing assistance, maybe adjustments need to be made. There have been encouraging changes recently towards finding ways to address food (in)justice, but far too many members of the public (not to mention employees) can’t afford to shop there. So, really PCC is selling a lifestyle and a comforting lessening of guilt and worry that we all feel (myself included) about being a consumer in a world that is on the verge of environmental apocalypse. I think it’s really random that Seattle singles out gig and grocery workers but not folks working at, oh, say, Walgreens. Everybody working front line jobs deserves fair wages, health care, reasonable safety precautions. Most of us have our own stories of woe and difficulty. In the case of PCC, I don’t even care about this $4 an hour. But I care very much about how our new CEO so callously and blithely dismisses the risks we face, even as more infectious variants are being found in King and Snohomish counties. I am pissed about that, and she burned so much good will that she may never recover from her misstep today.

    • wssz January 30, 2021 (4:52 am)

      Grocery worker: I really appreciate your comment. What can we in the community do to support PCC employees and try to protect them? What role does PCC’s board play? Can they fire the new CEO?

      • Jerry, grocery worker January 30, 2021 (1:31 pm)

        (I added a name to differentiate myself from a second PCC employer using the “grocery worker” handle). Does Monford need to be fired? Of course not. CEOs are selected by the Board. Nor does a boycott of PCC make much sense to me. IMHO, demanding a more diverse Board makes most sense to me. Did you know that according to PCC by-laws and our contract we are allowed up to two employees on the Board? They make it extremely difficult to get on the Board. We have to.collect several thousand member signatures. There were multiple instances of PCC store managers calling the police on Union representatives in off-duty employees who are outside the stores to gather those signatures. This happened at several of the stores outside Seattle. I found that appalling. Voting in the co-op Board elections is therefore very important this year. In the bylaws, PCC restricts the activities that employee board members can vote on, and they reserve the right to increase the board by, you guessed it two members to dilute any employee board member’s voting power. I still think that this would be a great benefit to rank and file PCC employees, having representation on the board. Also, that board is very, very white. Although I won’t argue that PCC’s business is incredibly complex and requires experience leadership in order for us to thrive, no one is served by having such a homogeneous board.

    • H. January 30, 2021 (6:42 am)

      Yes! $25 gift card to your own employeer for a vacine your not even allowed to get yet?  My husband works at a West Seattle grocery store. They have had 7 known outbreaks were entire shifts of clerks were out 8+ days having to get tested. Many came back positive, several were severely ill with lingering issues. They just managed to keep it out of the press. The stress has been monumental. My husband looks like he is 60 and he is in his 30s. Honestly, I dont know how I really feel about the hazard pay but this letter is gut reachingly horrid. My husband knows from internal conversations that his employer is fighting this raise hard but at least they had the decency to not publicly state how little they think of their employees.

    • Melissa January 30, 2021 (9:49 am)

      Thank you very much for your detailed and informative response. II’m going to email the CEO and the members of the board. May I also share this on my Facebook page, please? I would like to encourage my friends to write, as well. Thank you.

  • Trey Antipasta January 29, 2021 (11:22 pm)

    I don’t get the skepticism of the economics here. We’re not talking about a privately owned business where greed might be a motivating factor. We’re talking about a coop where the profits just go back to the members. Grocery stores operate on very thin margins. Makes sense that it is even harder for smaller chains. Sounds like there may be legit arguments here, but the messaging was poor.

    • Cashier January 30, 2021 (12:32 am)

       I appreciate you thinking well of the co-op. I would like to as well. A “co-op” is not a non profit however. Over the last number of years the board of PCC, along with the CEOs they’ve picked, have taken the “co-op” in an increasingly corporate direction. There are no disclosures of salary of office management. Upon asking, they refused to share. The profits don’t just “go back to the members” unfortunately. With the current scheme, members “might” get back approximately 2% of their yearly spending. That can vary based on profits, the board, e.t.c. And yes, on average, the grocery industry does operate on thin margins. The margins PCC cuts are not quite as thin. You better believe you’re going to get taxed on toothpaste from Australia and frozen raspberries from Serbia, with a PCC label and Oregon tilth organic certification tossed on it. Greed, unfortunately, is part of the mix. 

    • K January 30, 2021 (3:57 am)

      And did it occur to you that those members might not agree, and that those members ought to be listened to or consulted, particularly as they are being told that they are supporting an entity that is “committed to… the economic, social and environmental responsibilities that shape our co-op”

      • Trey Antipasta January 30, 2021 (10:32 am)

        Makes sense to me to get member input. And if the members feel strongly about this, I’m sure there is a way they could help pick up the cost if she’s right about the economics of this. Maybe a second round of member dues that can only go towards employee compensation?

  • psps January 29, 2021 (11:36 pm)

    Coddled, overpaid, under-taxed CEO cries that she might have to cough up an extra $32 a day per employee. If that’s enough to crash a company, the company is horribly mismanaged and shouldn’t be in business in the first place. Don’t they have a union there? If not, now would be a good time to take a vote.

  • WS res January 29, 2021 (11:39 pm)

    Agreed about the contradictory statements. That’s a giveaway right there. It’s interesting that letter made it out, curious how others in PCC admin positions feel and whether anyone advised Monford to consider differently. If co-op members can raise their voices and use their power to influence that seems like the most direct course of action.

  • Peter January 29, 2021 (11:59 pm)

    “Unlike large corporate grocers who saw a large sustained uptick in sales nationwide, we have not had a sustained increase in sales.”This is a factual statement, from a certain point of view. Perhaps if one recently came to PCC from Kroeger, as Suzy has, their definition of “large sustained uptick” might be skewed in proportion. Sales are up. PCC has seen boom sales since the pandemic began. But I guess you need to define the terms you’re working with.  This from a Burien PCC employee ;)

  • OMG January 30, 2021 (12:14 am)

    Board and executives are pretty much all white. Privilege is blinding. What a dumb lose/lose move, PCC. You let your workers down big time. SMH. 

  • Jennifer Hall January 30, 2021 (1:20 am)

    I’ve been a co-op member for over 40 years.  One of the reasons I’ve shopped regularly at the West Seattle PCC is because the employees are union-represented.  How is the union reacting to this insulting treatment of employees from a clueless, tone deaf CEO? She’s protesting having to pay employees an extra $32 a day, while bragging that PCC will offer $25 gift cards to employees who get vaccinated?  So, union members are supposed to fall all over themselves to grab those (few and far between) vaccinations and big ‘ol $25 gift cards.  Pretty dang insulting.

    • Grocery Worker January 30, 2021 (5:29 am)

      And the $25 gift card is a card TO PCC.

  • Buttercup. January 30, 2021 (5:56 am)

    Does this hazard pay apply to all stores who sell groceries. Target? Dollar tree? They were deemed essential last spring/summer and allowed to stay open. What about Bartells , Walgreens,Rite aid who are essential to get our medications to us? What about bus drivers who have to drive us, they’re essential and most if all health care workers who deal directly? Dont they all deserve hazard pay?

  • aa January 30, 2021 (6:40 am)

    If I understand this right, she is not refusing to pay the additional wage, she is simply expressing her opinion. Correct?  It seems naive to me to expect PCC to behave differently than other corporate entities.  This isn’t the 70’s where coops were all love  and peace and ugly organic fruit.  They are big business and they are going to fight against increased costs.  Again, she expressed her opinion. She is not refusing to pay.No one knows how to do this. None of us have dealt with a worldwide pandemic before.  I am amazed by the level of frustration that vaccines aren’t moving fast enough, the expectations, attitudes that “this should have been done already” about various things.. it has barely been a year folks!  I don’t have a clue how long it normally takes to develop and test a vaccine but it seems pretty amazing to me that we can go from the onset of a pandemic to an actual effective vaccine in less than a year.  I don’t have answers, it does seem arbitrary to only pay grocery workers additional pay and wonder how they came up with $4/ hr.  Restaurant workers already get paid less and often with less benefits.  How do we help them by supporting their businesses and keep them safe? 

    • Hannah January 30, 2021 (10:18 am)

      She is requesting that Durkan does not sign the ordinance on February 3rd, or she makes an exception for PCC.  I would also like to add that there are limits in this ordinance.  Central Co-op on Capitol Hill is not compelled to pay hazard pay to their grocery workers because they do not have more than 500 employees.  There was some amount of thought that went into not putting this on small grocers.

  • anonyme January 30, 2021 (7:37 am)

    Once a loyal PCC customer, I’m no longer interested in giving them my business.  They have been resistant all along to creating Covid accommodations for customers or staff.  For example, I contacted them about a pickup option and was rudely dismissed with “we’ve NEVER done that” as if the pandemic were business as usual.  The fact that they now don’t want to pay their employees confirms what I heard from several employees even before the remodel: PCC has gone corporate.  Prices also increased after the remodel, and I’m sure will increase again to cover hazard pay.  PCC used to feel like part of the community and the employees like neighbors.  No more.

  • C January 30, 2021 (8:56 am)

    Boycotting PCC as of today! We only go there for a few items anyway… Trader Joe’s will get all our business now. They are the only grocery store (nation wide) that did not take away hazard pay last May and have strived to make the stores safe for employees and customers. They actually are purposely letting in less customers than the state says they should so the store isn’t crazy crowded and stays safe for everyone. 3 cheers for TJ’s! 

    • K January 30, 2021 (4:29 pm)

      I agree 100% on Trader Joes.  We do PCC for bulk and specific hard to find items, Trader Joe’s for almost everything else.  And generally do the trips back to back.  I was so impressed how quickly Trader Joe’s stepped up their game, long before anyone else….  (with the exception of Uwajimaya) and equally  shocked walking into PCC in the same hour with unsanitized carts, an empty wipe container, employees without masks, not much attention to how many people were in the store and even an employee who told me, when I was typing in my passcode for Apple Pay that it was okay to remove my mask for face recognition.  I definitely get that it was a slow acceptance and understanding on and individual level, but walking into one store where everyone is on board and another, which promotes a healthy lifestyle, where the message is confusing, speaks loudly to what is coming from the top.  And cheers to the employees of PCC, we should all be making this easier for them. 

  • wseaturtle January 30, 2021 (9:08 am)

    Profit margins for grocery stores are very slim. Running a grocery store is VERy competitive.  The state should butt out, or pay the difference.  That goes for the state’s other mandates as well. Pay up, or shut up.

  • Edmonds Mama January 30, 2021 (9:12 am)

    Can we, PCC members, start a petition to recall dear Suzy? Seems like she needs to GO. I’m a loyal customer and spend A LOT of money there. Her position is unacceptable and counter to the values of this organization. Give these workers their due!

  • Mellow Kitty January 30, 2021 (9:23 am)

    Can someone please explain why a Co-Op has a CEO? I thought a Co-Op was employee and community owned/run . . . Doesn’t CEO stand for CORPORATE Executive Officer? Why bother paying member fees if members have zero say? 

    • WSB January 30, 2021 (11:13 am)

      CEO – Chief Executive Officer. Somebody has to run the business. Even nonprofits (unless their staff is in the single digits) have CEOs or Executive Directors

      • Jerry January 30, 2021 (12:24 pm)

        Despite what my coworker says above, most PCC employees realize that even a co-op needs a leader. There’s a lot of talk about not wanting PCC get more “corporate.” What do employees mean by that? We don’t want to be ground to dust under a leadership structure that is too top heavy and that infantilises and dehumanizes us. We see the writing on the wall. It’s a helpless feeling to have PCC be just another business that looks for ways to squeeze workers, and for what? 

        • Mellow Kitty January 30, 2021 (3:56 pm)

          @Jerry – I’m not a PCC employee. 

      • Chris January 30, 2021 (12:48 pm)

        Exactly. All non-profits need someone in charge, plus a board. I worked for PCC 30 years ago when they were just starting to hire leadership from corporate grocery stores, and many, many people had the same kind of objections as people in these comments. But the fact is, the people that preceded that more professional leadership–the people that had founded the coop and were early leaders–almost ran it into the ground. You really do need people at the top that understand its a business. Plenty of coops have gone under due to poor leadership. Grocery profit margins are super slim and if they only made 1.5m last year, there are going to be consequences to these raises.

        • Jerry, grocery worker January 31, 2021 (5:54 pm)

          @Chris That’s an important point, and one that some of my co-workers don’t want to admit. Still, that organizational structure appears top-heavy, and we don’t have a clear understanding about the actual financial picture at PCC. Saying you have x amount of profit isn’t the same as explaining how you are stewarding the financial resources of the member-owned co-op. With, what, 70,000 members right now, a true democracy isn’t possible. But I bet members would be SHOCKED to know just how stagnant wages have been for journey for a decade or more and just how much PCC spends on the latest environmental certifications for its stores. Now, PCC does a LOT of good in supporting local food banks, but if employees have to use them, something is broken there.  Zooming out for the big picture, PCC and the co-op movement cannot mend all the ways in which our economy is broken, but when having the latest environmental certs  or a gorgeous waterfront office or outsized executive compensation (could be, suspect it is, don’t know that for sure)over true COA income increases (reasonable ones) for employees, something is broken. Good stewardship of our environment starts with the ways in which we treat each other.

      • Mellow Kitty January 30, 2021 (3:54 pm)

        @WSB – thank you for the clarification. 

  • Mj January 30, 2021 (9:25 am)

    The data does not indicate that working in a grocery store that take proper protocols is significantly more hazardous, thus there is no nexus for the added compensation.  Further grocery store employees are unionized, this is the City Council over stepping once again.

    • heartless January 30, 2021 (10:45 am)

      Your words are meaningless.  What data?  What data have you looked at to reach this conclusion?

      “Significantly more hazardous”?  Uh?  More hazardous than what?  You don’t actually compare it to anything, so that statement is utterly meaningless.

      You continue to signify nothing, and while that’s quite Shakespearian of you it’s really not a good look.

  • Guy January 30, 2021 (9:31 am)

    A rich person from Texas, who would have thought?! They are a cyclist too, add some bike racks. 

  • Kersti Muul January 30, 2021 (9:57 am)

    A $25 gift card for getting a vaccine that most of us don’t even qualify to get yet???😡

    • Norsegirl February 2, 2021 (4:04 pm)

      It is my understanding that there is no direct cost for the vaccination to the person getting the shot. 

  • Pcc Spouse January 30, 2021 (9:59 am)

    As the spouse of a PCC employee who has watched how the company has evolved since Kate Hardy came on board as ceo none of this surprises me. And now Suzy Monford seems to be continuing the trend of corporate thinking and behavior that has taken over the co-op. The thing is I don’t nessaceraly blame ms. Monford in her reaction to this new city ordinance. What this really is is another example of city council over reach. It’s a liberal council member who’s heart is in the “right” place thinking that other people’s money can solve a problem. Well this time it won’t. This time it may very well result in higher prices at the register or cut backs in hours for employees or worse…layoffs. I would much rather see my spouse get vaccinated than make an addition $4.00/hr. Though my spouse now feels fairly safe at work following all required safety protocols, PCC was slow in rolling them out and initially it was scary when the store she works in was shut down for a week at the beginning of the pandemic because someone became infected. My spouse had to quarantine and it was then I found out my own employer had no protocols in place for dealing with any of this either. Fortunately we had no infection and all turned out well but there was fear and at the time very little knowledge or understanding of what was being dealt with. I suppose my point is we are all living with some level of fear these days and $4.00/hr won’t overcome this fear. Getting vaccinated will do it better than money. I’m more disgusted with city council than with Suzy Monford on this one because as the new CEO she has been put in an untenable position by the council and the mayor. I will reserve my evaluation of ms. Monford until I hear the results of contract negotiations.

    • Diane January 30, 2021 (12:10 pm)

      Thank you. I agree with your statement and behind the scenes analysis. We need to prioritize vaccinations to everyone which will go farther than hazard pay which could risk employees being laid off and grocery prices rising more to pay for this mandated hazard pay.

    • Factchecker February 2, 2021 (9:48 pm)

      The store was only closed for a day and a half. Please check your facts as I was there! I agree with the rest of your post too!

    • Wakeupcall February 3, 2021 (5:23 pm)

      Boom. EXACTLY right. Suzy Monford is trying to keep the business from going out of business and wrote a letter asking for consideration. That’s it. And if you think they have plenty of money, think again. Running a store is INCREDIBLY difficult, so all of these outraged individuals who couldn’t operate their ways out of a paper bag need to get a grip. Keep it up, and you’ll have higher prices, fewer workers, and a lesser shopping experience as a result. And if you think PCC can still be a great corporate steward when having to shell out $4 more per person, per hour, you’re living in dreamland…..or perhaps just Seattle….

  • Anne January 30, 2021 (10:21 am)

    PCC is not refusing to pay the $4-are they? This is just this CEO’s opinion-which she -like every person-businessperson is entitled to. Shop there or don’t -but  if PCC employees will be getting the hazard pay-ok.

    • MonfordMustGo January 31, 2021 (11:59 am)

      Anne- This just underscores the larger problem with Suzy Monford. She not only sold out her employees in a very public manner just a month into her job, she also underscored her glaring lack of judgement in sending a letter to Durkan as a lone company. She didn’t act as a true leader and try to build a coalition with other grocers, so that she didn’t burn the PCC name. She cavalierly led in such a shortsighted manner that the goodwill that PCC has worked for years to cultivate is now squandered. It’s not surprising given that she came from Kroger, a company that rescinded $2/hr hazard pay for employees in June while raising their CEO’s compensation from $14M to $21M and posting profits for their first two quarters up a “staggering 90 percent” according to the Brookings Institution. I’m not sure you can come back from burning bridges with employees, customers and city leaders all within weeks of your tenure. 

  • Voice of Reason January 30, 2021 (10:23 am)

    Instead of the city mandating a $4 per hour raise without knowing the details of each particular business, how about mandating a $1 surcharge on each and every customer with a bill over $20 that must go directly to the workers.  Even if they had only 500 customers a day and 10 employees working that would be a $50 bonus a day which is actually $6 hour.  “Toll” those who use the service and are increasing the risk for the employees.  Based on the self-righteous comments here, PCC shoppers would have no issue supporting this.

    • heartless January 30, 2021 (10:41 am)

      And there’s nothing stopping PCC from doing just that.  

      You really want the government mandating both the minimum wage AND how stores should reach that level of pay?  That’d be…  weird, to say the least.

    • JP January 30, 2021 (11:32 am)

      I expect some grocers will do exactly that. Is there anything in the measure preventing merchants from adding a $4 COVID surcharge to the bill at checkout? 

    • ITotallyAgreeWithYou January 30, 2021 (12:12 pm)

      Why do you exclude the CEO’s compensation as an area to reevaluate and use as a source for employee hazard pay?

      • Orcaholic January 30, 2021 (10:34 pm)

        Why do these CEOs always say raising worker’s wages in any case will cause job loss or put the company in peril but they NEVER say that when they pay the CEO $millions in salary, benefits, and bonuses? The state should send these businesses a big, fat bill for the total amount their hard-working employees need to survive; food stamps, healthcare, rental assistance, etc.#CorporateGreed#BusinessesAreTheRealWelfareQueens

    • Llama mamma January 30, 2021 (1:47 pm)

      Spin off idea…

      While ringing up customers at registers, stores could ask customers if they would like to include a donation to their workers hazard pay fund.  Give customers the option to contribute what they can each visit, whether 5 cents or higher dollar amount. Those who disagree or who can’t afford to contribute can opt out.  The money collected in these transactions could accrue over a pay period and then be fairly distributed to employees, based on hours.

      Maybe I’m optimistic, but I would think many if not most customers would be happy to contribute, and could actually pay out better than the mandated $4/hr. If this model fails, then the stores could impose a surcharge on transactions, but I like the idea of giving customers the option to pay what they can, so long as it would work out to benefit the workers well.

  • JP January 30, 2021 (11:29 am)

    Just another example of the token, heartstrings-tugging, and arbitrary legislative style that has become the hallmark of the people who govern this city. Why single out grocery stores when so many other people/ industries are suffering. Why $4?This cost will inevitably squeeze suppliers upstream and be passed on to consumers downstream. It will set a new baseline for grocery worker pay in the long term. Wages will not walk back -$4 after the pandemic is under control. The cost of groceries, which are already super high in Seattle, will just continue to be more expensive for everyone.  And many of the same people who applaud this measure will continue gnashing their teeth that Seattle is regressive and ranks as one of the worst cities for the poor.

    • Hannah January 31, 2021 (5:32 am)

      The wages WILL walk back. The pay is required to be separate from our base pay, and it is scheduled to end in April, which is when we are scheduled to be eligible for vaccination.  As far as recouping the costs by raising prices, I don’t think we would, as it is temporary, and it would alienate customers, in a time we are desperately trying to attract business away from Met Market/ Whole Foods.

  • Joan January 30, 2021 (12:19 pm)

    I can see both sides of the issue, to be really open-minded. However, as a loyal PCC shopper, and I say LOYAL – I have refused to shop at Whole Foods – I am very disappointed to read this. Correct that – as a co-op member…I feel like PCC is a family. I see the same cashiers and staff, and appreciate their service and friendliness. I want to support a local chain and like their inventory. I hope this publicity opens a door to more compassionate and fair treatment of staff. People over profits!!!

  • Chris January 30, 2021 (12:54 pm)

    I would much rather see priority vaccination of people that work with the public. The raise doesn’t protect anyone, and what about every other worker that interacts with the public–in drugstores and other retail stores for example? I guess we are prioritizing grocery because this was done in tandem with the UFCW, which doesn’t represent drugstore workers? Grocery stores are famously low margin, and I imagine that while the Krogers of the world can absorb the extra cost, our local chains are going to have a much harder time.

    • Amy Wolf January 31, 2021 (2:11 am)

      What the $4 does is help insure that worker against the income they might miss if they get covid or if their partner does and they have to quarantine or if they simply have cold or flu symptoms and have to stay home in case it’s covid until they test negative, which is a rule now. Proud Union member and Safeway worker in solidarity with PCC. Trust me , paid sick leave does not cover all these things necessarily

  • Garcia January 30, 2021 (1:20 pm)

    How much does the CEO make?

  • KT January 30, 2021 (1:59 pm)

    PCC Community Markets has had only 36 of our 1710 staff contract COVID since last February. No infections were determined to be contracted at work.33 of those infections were determined to result from infection at home or outside of work.

  • wssz January 30, 2021 (2:44 pm)

    To those saying front line workers should get the vaccine instead of a temporary pay increase — There isn’t enough vaccine available to begin to give it to those of us who qualify right now.

    I’m in the 1B category with underlying health issues and my housemate is a front line worker, so I’m very much at risk of being directly exposed. The only opening I’ve been able to find is one available date in Spokane! No other appointments until March.   Almost everyone I know over 65 has not been able to get a vaccine, period. The supply is extremely limited and amount each state gets is unpredictable.

    Front-line workers will run into the same brick wall until the supply is there. … And now we have more contagious variants in the state, plus the really terrifying one South Africa that our vaccines aren’t effective against. 

    Give the front line workers the hazard pay. They deserve it.

    PCC’s new CEO has immediately shown she doesn’t care about the employees. I absolutely hope she can be replaced. In the meantime, letters to Mayor Durkin could help ensure PCC’s employees get hazard pay. 

  • Trisha C. January 31, 2021 (8:57 am)

    I can understand both sides for different reasons. New CEO is coming in after old CEO’s decisions on opening new stores, changing the 20% to yearly dividens ect. On the other hand the grocery workers which normally take most of their vacations are after holidays and new year right around the time shut down happend. No one had breaks, vacation, no product customers constant disappointment and sheer misunderstanding how distribution works. Cashiers were and are venting boards, security enforcers, sheep. The kind of mental battering I’ve seen these people go through breaks my heart. I personally know of one grocery worker over dose, one suicide, and one murder suicide. These things get swept under the rug and these workers are suppose to put a smile on their face and keep it together. They were put in a hole.Im sure they are more then grateful to have jobs, they cant afford to stay home if they wanted to because in  any other city they would be making a living wage but in seattle good luck renting a micro studio They should be compensated.

  • 1WS Resident January 31, 2021 (9:42 am)

    Is anyone debating the Covid rates for PCC workers that CEO Monford is presenting?  If her numbers (supported by those provided by the State and the UFCW) are accurate then I would say PCC is doing a great job of protecting it’s employee partners.  This $4 per hr does nothing to improve employee safety, and since the hazard level is about the same as for the average worker, why is it necessary for this one group?  I commend Monford for speaking to the facts.

  • 1WS Resident January 31, 2021 (4:39 pm)

    Read the FACTS from Wa State L&I again.  Grocery workers are statistically less at risk of on-the-job hazards than the factory workers that made the products to begin with.  So why are grocery workers more “special”?

  • Hannah January 31, 2021 (10:23 pm)

    For anyone who would like to advocate on behalf of PCC employees (as well as all Seattle area grocery workers), our union has set up a petition.  Please consider signing!

  • Tony February 1, 2021 (1:38 am)

    In response to, PCC and
    THE HAZARD PAY ORDINANCE. Thank you for your opinion CEO
    Susan. Nationally and
    politically we just got rid of the wannabe dictator from the White
    House Oval Office, Commander and Cheat who needs to be held
    accountable for his failed leadership which is the main reason for
    the pandemic being as bad as it is in the USA. I read your letter in
    the West Seattle Blog and
    I swear
    I’m hearing what is
    reminiscent of the
    “my way, or the highway” badattitude, bad boy, obnoxious,
    know-it-all response that we generally got from Trump on issues he
    didn’t want to hear about.
    I can’t help but think of how your co-workers are going to feel about
    your letter, not to mention PCC members. I don’t think this was a
    wise move on your part. The 2019 net income (profit) of 1.7 million
    is not bad. I’d be happy with that kind of money. In your letter to
    the city of Seattle you say that, “This ordinance
    disproportionately harms local, independent grocers” so I would
    ask you this, “You as CEO, how does your salary disproportionately
    harm your co-workers?” At this time we are all living in fear and
    we are constantly in harms way of this devastating virus. My husband
    works in management with Whole Foods and I am retired, so daily we
    live the fear of him bringing home Covid which would most likely mean
    death for the two of us. You, as CEO, have a better chance of
    surviving Covid because your office is most likely tucked away in a
    safe space and you are not working the front end of a store. This is
    the time to be able to walk that mile in someone else’s shoes, to
    pull together to support each other. Because of the pandemic I find
    myself thinking of Jeff Bezos owing as much as he does, with his
    billions of dollars and well over one million employees working for
    him. Do you think he is doing anything to make life just a little bit
    better for his employees during this dark time? With the Covid
    vaccine difficult to
    find in order to get the shot
    do you think Bezos’
    is bending
    over backwards to obtain the vaccine for his workforce? Most likely
    not. This is the time to think of your fellow co-workers. I
    have a feeling that Bezos is going to realize some serious
    consequences for turning a deaf ear and blind eyes to his workforce.
    I don’t think you want to be in the same situation. If you are that
    kind of person then perhaps I need to terminate my membership with

  • yumbato February 1, 2021 (7:49 am)

    Disappointed in PCC. This is pretty slimy considering how fancy the stores are and how overpriced most items are. 

  • Heartless? February 1, 2021 (1:38 pm)

    SCC should not be interfering with the compensation issues of PCC. This is City council overreach.

  • Rob February 2, 2021 (6:41 pm)

    This comment is not meant to diminish the intent of well deserved Hazard pay.While PCC’s CEO actions are not popular by any means, her point that a smaller grocery company can’t spread out this cost across a nationwide footprint has some merit:Seattle Stores compared to total company stores:Safeway  15 of 1,300   1%QFC / Fred Meyer/Kroger  13 of 2,540    .5%Costco  1 of 785    .1%Whole Foods  5 of 500  1%Albertsons  1 of 2,252   .04%——————————Met Market 4 of 8  50%Uwajimaya 1 of 4  25%PCC 8 of 15  53%Town & Country 1 of 6  17%The result could be very damaging to local stores with 500 or more employees, as none are publicly traded with footprints to spread out the additional cost. For each 100 staffed store at full time hours with a $4 increase, its $832,000 per year.

  • Doug February 4, 2021 (10:57 am)

    PCC workers deserve hazard pay, and I’m appalled the CEO is arguing against the health and welfare of her own employees! One of their employees told me they had to isolate at home and use their sick leave when another employee tested positive.  That isn’t right, to penalize the worker for a necessary absence from work due to no fault of their own.  Sick leave should be for when the employee is sick.  The hazard pay is well deserved, and others in different front line professions deserve the same. Capitalism is about defending profits at our expense, and will never promote the welfare of the vast majority. Isn’t it time for the coop members to take their coop back?  Lets protest as we go shopping and ask to speak to the store managers!

  • Ben February 4, 2021 (7:16 pm)

    I have been a PCC member since 1994 and have been very unhappy with the “co-op’s” direction for  a long while.  I don’t know why they even call themselves a co-op anymore except it’s great for PR.  Just look at the PCC Board, it’s filled with privileged, career corporate elites who have zero experience/skills in active-on-the -floor retail selling.  One who recently ran for the Board, touted having been with Proctor and Gamble.  A Proctor and Gamble careerist on a natural/organic market’s board, what’s wrong with this picture?  I’ve said for years the PCC Board should be required to have at least one store employee, two or three would be better.  The former Starbuck’s VP CEO, Cate, was absolutely not philosophically aligned with PCC’s professed values and the new one is seemingly not off to great start.  The disconnect between corporate and the actual stores is very obvious.  The staff was clearly disgruntled long before Covid broke out.  Why the lush Elliott Bay corporate offices, why are the CEO’s salary/benefits not public (“member”) information, why is the Board packed with clueless corporate elites?  I used to work in the industry as a product sales rep for numerous lines and the mark-up on items at PCC is big, not to mention the ongoing discounts they demand from companies that they then do not pass on to the consumer and then there is the free fill (free products) they demand new lines provide (a bribe of sorts to take on a new line/product to make it risk free I suppose).   This all keeps small, indie companies from even remotely being able to place their lines in the PCC chain.  And this is part of the reason why the stores are now so bland and boring.  I am stopping now, I could go on for pages! 

  • WSB February 4, 2021 (8:12 pm)

    Of note … just happened onto this on the PCC website
    Will try to find out what the “noneconomic concessions” is a reference to.

Sorry, comment time is over.