Town Square

Post a New Topic

Unions urge members, Democrats to rally against Walmart market planned for Pleasanton

Original post made on Feb 29, 2012

Union leaders called on members and others at a Democratic Party rally to protest at upcoming meetings throughout the East Bay where operating permits for Walmart grocery stores will be considered

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 6:58 AM

Comments (105)

Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:33 am

The unions are not out to protect small business - just ask the owners of Farmer Joe's, a small, independent Vietnamese immigrant owned store in the Dimond district of Oakland. Grocery union members harrassed shoppers and started rumors of rotten dairy and spoiled produce. A friend of mine documented the weekly occurences on her blog.

Pleasanton is not going to lose Gene's over this - people who want good produce and meats aren't going to shop at a low cost grocer; but many people on tight budgets including seniors who would have to otherwise go out of town for low-cost outlets won't have to waste the gas money. It's a win-win when you let the market decide. Maybe the liberals can think of this as a "green" issue?

Other than padding their leadership's salaries with union dues - grocery unions are irrelevant. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's pay higher wages than union Safeway. And Trader Joe's manages to deliver lower-cost groceries to boot.

The social engineering that the city council is trying to do is contradictory. They want to rezone for mass low-income housing, yet they want to deny these "working poor" a low-cost grocer.

When it comes down to it, it looks like city leadership is going to bat for developers and unions.


Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:39 am

Here's the blog that outlines the Union harrassment of a small independent grocery store: Web Link


Posted by Steve, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

Im tired if paying the higher prices at stores with unionized workers. Bring on the Walmart grocery store!


Posted by Salsa, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

I thought this was a free society where you as an American can decide where to worship, where to dine and where to shop. What happened to more choices for those that advocate for the right to choose? I support unions and the good they have done but this is pure politics and it hurts those who would like to have a choice other than Wholefoods or Safeway whose prices are much higher.


Posted by Larry, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

Let's see how this works. The union would like us to buy from unionized stores, fine, but I would rather pay less for what I purchase because my money goes further. It's not like it's going to be made in America, it just means the unions are getting more money from the dues. Do you think any of the unions care about the people they represent, they care only about union dues. Don't kid yourself about this. It's all about the money, nothing more. And who is going to be hurt more, the poor people, that's who.


Posted by Klisvak, a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

Union are at it again. What a waste of time. Walmart grocery store is a great benefit for the community and will materialize. Union will lose the same way they lost the Castlewood labor dispute.


Posted by olfthfl, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

I am a virtual neighbor here in the Meadows, and although I know it will somehow ultimately cost me, I hope WalMart sues the city over this and wins big time!


Posted by Ptown Dad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

Let's put the Wal Mart issue in perspective of another retailer, namely Apple.

- Wal Mart workers are treated better than the people who assemble Apple products.

- Wal Mart is creating jobs in Pleasanton. Apple sends jobs overseas.

- The Walton Family Foundation has given away billions of dollars in charity (over $1 billion in 2010 alone). Steve Jobs admitted himself he wasn't charitably minded, according to his book. His record of philanthropy is very thin.

- Why were people thrilled to have an Apple store in Pleasanton, but spend so much energy keeping Wal Mart out?

- Why do people vilify Wal Mart and idolize Apple?

I have no vested interest in either company - I'm just pointing out a double standard.

I assume if Wal Mart treated people so poorly they'd have a difficult time getting people to work there. In fact, they are far better staffed than Kohl's. I love the fact that they are an equal opportunity employer - their workforce is the most diversified (ethnic, age, gender) of any retailer I know.

Again, I have no personal interest in either company.

The unions have their right to free speech - go ahead and picket. But for any city council member, planning commission member, or city employee to try to stop Wal Mart from opening would be simply ridiculous and two-faced.


Posted by A.D., a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:04 am

Oh my goodness. I was neutral on the subject of the Walmart going in. But, thanks to the Union trying to bully their way into control and dictate free choice, I'm now 100% support for the Walmart. Get me a sign for my yard! Where can I vote? I'll roam the streets with petitions for signature! I honestly can't believe this goes on in this day and age.


Posted by joan, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

Its now time for the UNIONS TO PAY FOR THE POLICE TO MONITOR THEIR PROTESTS. The taxpayers can NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY FOR THE POLICE TO MONITOR THEIR PROTESTS.


Posted by Concern about Union Thugs, a resident of another community
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:18 am

So, this is the real issue. Hosterman, her pro-union allies, Safeway. Well, like it or not, this is a free market economy, and you are more than welcome to go to France or Greece, if you like. Here, you have a choice, and let your dollars speak. If you don't want to go there, then don't shop there. Let the market determine who should be there, and whether or not they succeed. Unions are nothing but legalized mafia organizations.


Posted by Matt, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

The property owner is beefing cheated out of $$$$ in rent by the city by delaying this. Walmart is being deprived of revenue by this behavior.

Ultimately they will sue and win a few million dollars from the residents of Pleasanton.

Let's see. On one hand you have a lawfull use of the property, more tax revenue to the city and more jobs for our residents. On the other hand, you have no tax revenue,no jobs and a multi million dollar judgement against the city!

BTW, in the end there will be a Walmart store in that location.


Posted by Ptown Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

Btw, if you want WalMart, vote against Thorne or Cook-Kalio for mayor (hopefully we'll have a decent choice)- both the darlings of unions.


Posted by Nancy, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

I live in Pleasanton but do some shopping at WalMart in Hayward, whenever I go the place is packed with customers and employees, too bad that Pleasanton has such a snobby attitude, lets get people working and spending again, say O.K. to Walmart.


Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:46 am

Woooo Hoooo!!! .... Now we are seeing the light .... these comments are awesome ... the citizens and tax payers are waking up!!! Let Freedom Ring!!!!


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

Yeah, I sent in some pro-Walmart comments on another site and the Walmart PR folks haven't yet sent me the 20 dollars they promised me for each printed comment. I'll withhold any positive comments until I get my money.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

If Pleasanton can hold up this Wal-Mart and require a hearing, every business or prospective business in Pleasanton should watch out because you can be next. Forget policies. It is now about elected officials liking you. We are now like Chicago politics. You have to put money in the elected officials hands (directly or via campaign contributions) if you want to do business in this town.

Who would have predicted years ago that Pleasanton would be a "union town"? Shows how quickly our elected officials can screw up things and allow, and support, intimidation by union thugs in our city.


Posted by Nomo Loons, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

If you are sick and tired of union bullying and them vacuuming our your wallet,

and/or

You are sick and tired of left-wing loons bullying you, taking away your freedoms, and vacuuming out your wallet,

THEN QUIT VOTING LEFT-WING LOONS INTO POLITICAL OFFICE.

Specifically, let the Pleasanton City Council know you are mad as h-e-double-toothpicks that they have not approved the Wal-Mart store; and for goodness sakes don't vote in Cheryl Cook-Callio or Jerry Thorne as Mayor, and quit voting in loons on the City Council.

As we saw in the Cinco de Mayo parade in Los Angeles, and at the most recent demonstration organized against Castlewood; unions, socialists and communists, and illegal aliens are tied at the hip to take away your freedom, control every aspect of your lives, and vacuum out your wallet.


Posted by Marianne, a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

Apple pays its employees here in the US a living wage; Wal-Mart is notorious for underpaying its employees. Wal-Mart receives products from countries that grossly underpay their citizens, like China. I'm not defending Apple for manufacturing it's product in China, but at least here in the US they respect their employees, I cannot say the same for Wal-Mart.
I would prefer everybody look for the "Made in the USA" label (or "grown locally") and only purchase products made here at home, but I know that isn't going to happen.
If you want to pay lower prices for your groceries, shop at Trader Joe's.
I think we have plenty of grocery stores in Pleasanton, I don't want a Wal-Mart grocery store.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

Marianne, you can shop where you want but let others do the same.

You are also confusing Wal-Mart main store with the Wal-Mart grocery store being proposed to replace a grocery store in the same spot. You might not think that another grocery store is needed in Pleasanton but if Wal-Mart wants to invest in a store here, just like Safeway did, let them do it. If they fail, they fail.

I would imagine that a Wal-Mart grocery store will have the same merchandise as a Safeway or Railey's. I would imagine the ratio of USA made groceries to China made groceries will be the same in all these stores.

Marianne, where were you when Safeway proposed their new store on Bernal? Did you oppose that also since you do not feel we need more grocery stores?

Also remember the council members supporting the unions here are the same council members supporting the public employee unions and are just letting our city get further and further in debt on pension obligations.


Posted by Nervous Twitch, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

@Marianne: People can choose where to work and to shop. If they don't want to work for Walmart, they shouldn't apply there. If you don't like their products, don't shop there.

As for me and my family, we have to drive to Dublin to do all of our grocery shopping since Nob Hill moved out. I'd like to keep my business in Pleasanton and would love to have a local choice that is closer to home. The Super Walmarts that I have been to around the country actually carry great fresh local produce and all the brands that Safeway sells and then some. I do like to have choices when i shop. It helps to keep the prices down. Besides, Safeway needs some competition in this town and Trader Joe's doesn't feed a large family.

As I type this though, Dublin is sounding better because I won't have to pay extra for my shopping bags.....

By the way, can you guarantee that the person that assembled your keyboard in China was paid a fair wage?


Posted by woohoocharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Ok ... now that my wallit is a little heavier (thanks WalMart PR for attending to this matter), I'd like to stress that my home state of Arkansas, first in the nation in hog and chicken farms, has WalMart's in almost every town. Its what makes us the classyest and beautiful state that it is. Bring more of Arkansas into Pleasanton, thats what I say.

p.s. Anybody out there have any inside info on teeshirts made by slave swetshop labor in Los Angelas? Their cheaper then most, and I wwant to excercise my freedom and save a buck or two. Hilk-hilk-hilk.


Posted by Ron, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I have been waiting for a good quality grocer to fill the Nob Hill location. Walmart is sincerely interested in filling this need. No other grocers have come to the table with ant interest.

Let Wal-Mart open as soon as possible!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I don't agree with the unions but I would prefer to see a Whole Foods instead of a Walmart.

We have Safeway, Lucky and they are pretty economical. We need a Whole Foods, we do not have an equivalent store in Pleasanton, and the Whole Foods in San Ramon is quite a drive from here.


Posted by Do your homework, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hey Ptown Truth Tellers-

Why the swipe at Jerry Thorne? He is the only one on the city council who is not pro-union on every vote. When the city council wanted to pass a resolution back in April of 2010 to support the union workers against Castlewood, Jerry was the ONLY member of the council to vote NO. It would have been real easy for him to vote yes like the other union supporters on the council, but he had enough guts to go against some very heavy pressure from the unions.


Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Union "thugery expands" - While Labor Unions have been electing politicians for decades in order to gain higher wages and benefits, in recent years the Unions have twisted California's "land use approval process" to their advantage. For example if you want to build a major project without union labor, the union will delay your project by filing CEQA challenges (California Environmental Quality Act.) Once you give in and sign a Project Labor Agreement with the Union, they lift their CEQA challenges, government approves your Land Use, and you can then build. In many cases, Politicians will actually broker the Project Labor Agreement. Since the Nob Hill location is already Zoned for a grocery store, the Union must turn to other tactics.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Old Towne
on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Unions are not your friend, they have there own agenda. They don't provide more jobs, cheaper services or much of anything for the public. This is America and they should not be allowed to even have a say in what goes in the Nob Hill Store, it should be between the city and Wal-Mart.


Posted by Jill, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Resident, Whole Foods does not want to move into that location. They have known about it being available for some time. You cannot force a specific retailer to open a store there.

I am sure the unions and council would not want a Whole Food Market there either since Whole Foods is non-union.


Posted by annonymous, a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Noooooo - those f'n greedy unions! I want a grocery store in that location and having one that offers competitive prices is even better.


Posted by Democrat, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

The union for the grocery workers fears their membership will lose jobs/benefits. The negative public relations from their anti-Wal Mart movement is only bringing people over to Wal Mart's side. The union workers at Safeway, Lucky, etc. need to understand that we shop there for SERVICE and quality products. The management of these local stores would get a marked improvement in customers' repeat business if the employees brought the "Nordstrom" customer service to their jobs. Some of the attitudes lately with the Santa Rita Rd. clerks have been so noticeable that I've had others mention it to me (that's why they shop at Trader Joes's). Union stores need to provide what Wal Mart can't - SERVICE, QUALITY, and FAST CHECK OUT. Also, clean your carts each day. The employees with the best attitudes at Safeway on Santa Rita Rd are the baggers. Good job to them.


Posted by WHC, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Unions have there own agenda. There bad. WalMart doesn't have an agenda. Except treating its workers really really nice. Nobody who belongs to a union should have a say in the public areena, because this is a free country and we don't permit unions with an agenda.

I don't like the way the unions have gotten on hear and bullied everyone. If the union thugs expand their tactics, protect you're semi and pick-up truck cabs, because if you don't they might poop in them. Or write you a letter. Or show up for a public assembly. Unions are greedy. I want Walmart because I can save money that way.


Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

@ Do your homework,

Jerry Thorne is hardly anti-union. Can you give me any of his anti-union votes; especially for Pleasanton's gub'mint employee unions?

The Castlewood vote was a calculated move on a non-binding "resolution" which allows him to convince guilable constituents that he's not one-sided; but easily allows him to backpeddle when he bows down before his union masters. He's of the pro-developer, pro-union ilk that is ruining our beloved city.

Bottom line is that site was a grocery store, it's zoned for a grocery store and it should be a grocery store; and hey--a grocery store wants to go in there.

San Leandro tried to keep out Grocery Outlet - to buy its way out of a lawsuit they ended up paying a developer $3M more for the disputed site property than the property was worth and now there sits a parking lot. What's more, is that Grocery Outlet came in six blocks down the street anyway. City councils playing social engineer just doesn't work in our free-market capital system. Ultimately, Wal-Mart will go in - it's a question of how long do we want to delay giving a shoppers a choice and how much taxpayor money do we want to lose in a lawsuit, and do we want to project the image of being anti-business in this tough economy? It sure seems like that's what our esteemed Mayor and her attorney husband want to do, but it sure seems to go against the will of the people of Pleasanton.


Posted by WHC, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I forgot to mention. The unions have there agenda because there greedy. Walmart isn't greedy. Walmart doesn't have an agenda because it cares about us and its workers. That's why we need to worry about a lawsuit from Walmart. Walmart will file suit not because its greedy. It just wants to demonstrate it's tough love for all of us.

(Walmart PR Dept. I get another 20 dollars for this one, right?)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

WHC (Faye, Robert)--very cute. WalMart is a business. No one believes they are altruistic (although they do donate a fair amount of money).

Too simple for you, this is about a grocery store moving in where neighbors want it; where people (albeit non-union) want the jobs, and where there is a vacant space for, of all things, a grocery store.

Remember, if WalMart were paying you, it wouldn't be at $20/what, a minute?


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

And where neighbors don't, Kathleen...it doesn't matter what process, does it?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I'm not against all neighbors having their say.


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Wal-Mart answers to no one,in our Community...because they can. Is that a reason to battle back? For established neighborhoods quality of life issues? Hell yes!..

It makes perfect sense if you have a child in the PUSD to pay a parcel tax...today. Is the PUSD economic problem going to be resolved tomorrow? With another Board? With your leadership? Does that leadership even exist?

"I'm not against all neighbors having their say." Good... then you agree with the appeal. Thank you!




Posted by justwondering, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Nomo Loons, you need to get your facts straight. The council voted 4 to 1 to accept the Zoning Administrator's report which included WalMart. In case you're not familar wtih the report, it was approving the Wal Mart application!!! That's right the Council voted 4 to 1. The no vote came from Matt Sullivan who then told the union folks in the audience to appeal. Someone from the union did appeal the Zoning Administrator's decision so Wal Mart will be heard at the Planning Commission meeting next week.

Folks that are concerned about unions should be very concerned about what happened at the end of the last council meeting. During the Wal Mart hearing, union folks asked that the council consider an ordinace requiring a conditional use permit for ANY retail. At the end of the meeting, Sullivan brought up the idea and asked for support from other council members. Cook-Kallio (member of the teacher's union) agreed with Sullivan. Lucky for us residents. Hosterman, McGovern & Thorne had no interest in the idea!! The last thing we need is to have the council deciding what retail can/cannot be in Pleasanton. Less government regulation not more!!!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.) WalMart . . . What I don't agree with, Pete, is unions trying to throw their weight into a community issue, simply and only because the proposed tenant is a non-union shop. Why would I care if you appeal--well, except for the cost you create for the rest of us. However, if the majority of your neighbors prefer the store be occupied and there is a viable occupant, good luck with that appeal. If it costs the community, by the way, I'll be sending my portion of the bill to you. Thank you as well.


Posted by Janet, a resident of Avila
on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Those against the Walmart grocery store going into the vacant grocery store are Unions and the opposition is being bankrolled by corporate competitors (Lucky's, Safeway, etc.).

How many of these reasons do you think the Union will try to use to convince the Planning Commission to block the grocery store moving into a grocery store?

1) It will produce far too many vehicle trips a day for the local streets to handle without becoming gridlocked.
2) It will place too much stress on existing water supplies and sewers.
3) It will add hundreds of new children to the school system that is already overcrowded.
4) It will endanger existing rare or protected plant or animal species.
5) It will cause storm runoff that will flood adjoining properties.
6) It will encroach on burial grounds of indigenous peoples.
7) It will pollute local air or drinking water supplies. It will destroy an historic landmark.
9) It will encourage sprawl.
10) It will change the character of the local community from rural to suburban or from suburban to urban.
11) It will encroach on the peace and safety of adjacent hospitals, schools or churches.
12) It will attract strangers to the neighborhood, raising the potential for new crime.
13) It will destroy existing jobs in existing businesses.
14) It will remove valuable agricultural or industrial property from being used.
15) It will eliminate important open space.

Oh brother.


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Not wrong topic...the parallel is the same. People outside the union... have concerns about Wal-Mart and its impacts.
You have 65% of people who vote... that disagree with you. Not once... have I recommended sending you the bill... if what you are doing compromises Pleasanton's educational future, what would that cost be? "except for the cost you create for the rest for us." I agree with many ideas you have shared. Just spare me the bill collector scam...ok
The media is the driving force... that's what they do. Why are you thinking I'm against you? If a letter is too long?...they edit it. If they don't like what you say?...they don't print it.
Presenting a point, if I consider it valid...should be stated. Too many of you's, can't relate to a different kind of writer... perhaps because your life has been easy...in relationship to others.


Posted by Scary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

... I enjoy driving by the vacated buildings on Santa Rita Road and I think the "going out of business" signs on the other retail spaces are attractive as well ... I also enjoy union picket signs and the rhythmic beating of the drums outside of Castlewood Country Club ... the real nice touch are unions bussing in OWS folks to march down our streets to tell us what we should be doing in our community, it provides the much needed diversity our city is "lacking" ... and filling our City Council chambers with "concerned citizens", helping us understand that companies like WalMart will only damage our community and economy ... It's all good.... makes me want to jump up and start singing "God Bless America"!!


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

There's a Fresh 'N Easy around the corner. Shop there for low prices; another low budget grocery store is superfluous for this town and crime is already up. Think about the future not just the immediate, we can't be so shortsighted.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Okay, sorry if I missed your point. Can you tell me what your concerns are about WalMart, say, over any other grocery store?

I was not in favor of a non-specific parcel tax; others made the decision to run the measure the first time. The second time, I served on a committee and spoke my piece; others made the decision to run that measure too. Plenty of bills to share I guess.


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

We have a planning commission meeting soon.... would not want to disrespect others in neighborhood to speak for them... before its time. No doubt an important issue to balance all sides. Thank you Kathleen


Posted by ?????, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:14 am

Dpn't these well-paid thugs have families they could be home enjoying, rather than out hassling everyday folk over how and where
they choose to buy their food ?? It is all so illogical...soo corrupt, such communistic meddling in private lives.
I can't imagine how they would explain such mean behavior to their own children.


Posted by Ernest Fairchild, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:37 am

Most unions don't have children. (Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff) Our community has spoken. We don't want to be sued.

I take issue with the facetious post by WooHoo Charley. There's nothing wrong with chicken and hog farms. I grew up on a hog farm, and we could stand a few more around here. They don't stink as bad as unions. Because unions stink. Really stink.

Unions indoctrinate people to oppose Walmart based on phoney ideals like its unfair treatment of workers and use of foreign child labor. Walmart does these things, but that doesn't make them bad. Walmart is a business and isn't supposed to be altruistic. If it can make money tying 8 year-old Indonesian kids to assembly lines for twelve hours a day, all the more power to them. That's just old fashioned capitalism. Besides, some other stores are almost as bad.

(I'm only getting $10 per post.)


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 1, 2012 at 6:15 am

So let me get this straight Mayor Hosterman and city council:

We can have a cigarette (head) shop and TWO message parlors on the edge of a quaint downtown and across from a continuation school but we cannot have a low cost grocery store in an under-served area because it is non-union??

The hypocrisy is simply stunning.

Dan


Posted by Resident, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 1, 2012 at 6:56 am

The Unions did not protest 99 Ranch Market or Fresh and Easy (both non-union) supermarkets. At Luckys and Safeway, as a shopper I do self-check, and do not see how cashiers add value to my experience any more than an average retail clerk.

I do not mind paying higher prices for higher wages to butchers, produce employees, or others with more obvious added-value to delivering fresh groceries.

This is a free market, so let customers make their own decisions about where to shop. Allow Wal-Mart and let customers vote with their wallets.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

Wait, Enest Fairchild, does that mean your parents weren't union members?


Posted by Angus, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

Again, the rumor that Walmart exploits it's staff. We apply for employment where ever we wish to. We are not forced to work for low wages, we either choose to, or that is what we are qualified to do by
education or circumstance. Walmart pays it's employees according to what they agree to work for. Whole Foods? The paragon of purity at exhorbatent prices? Not long ago the virtuos provider of high quality natural goods, was found to have been importing frozen vegetables from China. Might still be doing so. Look at the point of origion printed on the bag. Walmart sells a wide variety of groceries and sundry items from around the world and the United States just as any other of the grocers in competition. This is about left leaning politics, and union gangster tactics. Walmart sells good products at reasonable prices in a clean well lit enviornment. I say get off their back and let them open.


Posted by Claudette, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

I vote for what ever brings more jobs into my community ~ and for that matter the state!


Posted by jim, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 1, 2012 at 10:17 am

When in Fresh and Easy recently, one of the people up front told me she was just harassed by a union member...she was visably upset. Are we really paying higher prices in Union grocrey stores so that the union can hire people to go into nonunion stores and upset employees?


Posted by Kupirka, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I always thought that the Union leaders were smart individuals. Apparently they are not. The Wall Mart store is coming to Pleasanton. It is done. The conversation is over! The Castlewood labor lockout is over as well. They lost and they are rapidly losing public support everywhere. Hey Unions hire some intelligent people. That way you'll achieve a better public image.


Posted by Ernest Fairchild, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Working, eating and drinking to survive is your choice. You don't have to if you don't want to. That's the hallmark of freedom. It's also the dirty little secret behind slavery in the US. The slaves really didn't have to work for their masters. They could have chosen to not work, not eat, and not drink instead. It's all about freedom, don't you see?

Exploiting foreign child labor isn't nearly as bad as having two massage parlors in the neighborhood. I rest my case.

I have a neighbor whose cousin's best friend was threatened by a union thug who said the union planned to poop in everyone's pick-up truck and write letters. Such blatant, criminal intimidation must stop immediately. 300-400 protestors at Castlewood? How does that compare to the multitude of courageous posters on this thread?

Janet from Avila. Where did you come up with such a flimsy list? Why should I care about those things or whether my neighbors think they're important? I want my non-union groceries!


Posted by Kupirka, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Ernest, the Castlewood protest march, re-enforced by the Occupy Oakland was a total bust. All together 70-80 people. Very demotivated, dragging and listening to their iPods. It was not a spirited protest.


Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Just hope those willing to testify to wanting Wal-Mart at the planning commission/council meetings don't get Breitbarted. Who knows how far the union thugs are willing to take things?


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

Unions breed mediocrity in work performance. They always have, and they always will. The people who want to shop at Walmart will, and those who do not will shop elsewhere. It's called freedom of choice.


Posted by Did you know, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Did you know a Dollar Store was approved for that same business area?
Next to Gold Chopstick.


Posted by Lewis, a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I support unions, but I also understand Arroyo's comment about unions breeding mediocrity. However, I support line-workers more than I support corporations and management, and Walmart is the world's worst employer in terms of offering fair salaries, benefits, and healthy workplaces....that's why the company is so successful...their employees work for peanuts like people in third world countries. People think Walmart is good because they can pay cheaper prices for products, but what they don't understand is the cost to the community. Most Walmarts operate in lower-socioeconomic communities so they can pay lower wages. Also, would it surprise you to hear that Walmart is one of those corporations that doesn't pay their fair share of taxes! So, if you support corporations (their CEOs and executive management) that make their profits through screwing their employees and not paying taxes, then shop at Walmart, but don't complain about the taxes that you pay. If the government would make corporations, CEOs, and executive management that make millions, pay their fair share of taxes, we wouldn't be in such economic turmoil. I pay more taxes than the CEO of Walmart,Mike Duke, and he makes 500 times my salary!


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:28 am

I'm pretty tired of misuse of the term 'fair share'. State exactly what this is and who it applies to.
Does it apply to anyone making a million a year? Is Warren Buffet exempt becasue he can hide abd devert the reporting of his earnings? So, if I can report earnings of $999,999 annually and avoid the extra gouging?
"I pay more taxes than the CEO of Walmart,Mike Duke" So, who do you think is smarter? Do you really think successful people won't be able to take advantage of ways to report earnings under whatever threshold you arbitrarily establish? You class envy ho's really look petty and jealous......you can thank your dear leader for setting this fine example.


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

Smarter people sholdn't have to pay higher taxes. Only dumb poor people. And all those libs? When they see 1 in 4 kids in US going hungry all they can think about is envying Mike Duke. They woudn't feel that way if they're dear leader was such a envy ho himself.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

Union activists didn't protest non-union 99 Ranch, Fresh & Easy, Trader Joes, OR Whole Foods, because this is NOT about grocery stores !!...it is about unions constant drumbeat against the Wal-Mart name! The gullible union activists have swallowed the propaganda, then spew out the lies to us, thinking we're dumb enough to swallow too...we're not !!!
Unions payoff low-lives who are unemployable anywhere else to perger themselves to trash WalMart with 'I cund't git promoted at WalMart'
trying to 'break them'with massive lawsuits. Unions have tried everything imaginable to break WM,...'cuz they hate free market competition !!!
I've talked with female managers at our Wal-Mart and they praise the company, and one had a handicapped child, and said she has the best insurance possible. And, WM donates MORE to US charities than most corporations pay in taxes !! Stop the drumbeat !


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

Could be this is really about trying to organize 1.4 million non-union employees. Going after other non-union grocers will not yield that kind of enrollment. I posted it elsewhere that union membership is dropping.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

Oh, membership IS dropping...which is why union leaders are hammering membership to do whatever they have to do,say whatever they have to say, or they will loose what they have (ultimately their JOBS !)
It just shows their mentality to think they are going to bring WalMart down OR unionize the entire company...neither will ever happen. All these members are doing is making themselves both a laughing stock and making their own case and reputation worse, and fewer even interested in being associated with unions.
Yes, they DO do bad things going way back.... Chicage mobs 'selling protection', buying off Chicago cops, Teamsters union, a tangled web or corruption and thugs. They don't belong in our schools, our local state governments, our private clubs, and certainly don't belong in our neighborhood markets. Now they're sucking in occupiers and illegals.


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Get a load of this from AP:

"In 2010 -- the first full year since the end of the Great Recession -- virtually all of the income growth in America took place among the country's very wealthiest people, says an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. The top 1 percent of earners took in a full 93 percent of all the income gains that year, leaving the other 7 percent of gains to be sprinkled among the vast majority of society.

Those numbers come courtesy of Emmanuel Saez, the Berkeley economist who co-created a resource known as the World Top Incomes Database. Saez and his colleagues crunched the data on income growth from 2010, the most recent year available, and found that it was shockingly lopsided."

Now, why would anyone want to be in a union, that's what I want to know. Speaking as one of the 1%, I gotta tell all union members and union member wanna bees, we've got your back. Let me tell ya, there's a reason why since Reagan it's been easier and easier to break up the corrupt unions (hint: Supreme Court). But we don't even need to break them up any more. They're so unpopular, unions are scrambling all over themselves to get decertified. In this economy, it's the ethical thing to do.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Yeah, WooHoo, thanks for taking the time to post a link to the entire article or data. Here's one link: Web Link Notice the key thing you glossed over: "During the recession, the incomes of the top 1 percent fell more sharply than the incomes of everyone else. This happened because the stock market crashed, and the highest earners get a big chunk of income from investments."

By the way, your pension invest in those same stocks--like WalMart.


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

... and that the income of top 10% has risen 270% since Reagan years, while the other 90% has been flat or dropped over the same period. So happy we have someone like Kathleen Reugsegger in our community to defend the wealthy against inappropriate attacks. I mean, the middle class didn't suffer any declines at all during this past recession; it was only the top 1%, and so they deserve to have recouped 93%. That's called just-us.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

CCH, Not defending anyone. I provided the link so all the detail was readily available.


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

How is your link relevant to union movement? You seem to be the one who stated some incredulity when someone mentioned unions offering differential wage/salary structures. Your agenda/crusade seems to have steered you into increased irrelevance.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Let's see CCY, WHC posted a quote--I went and got the link. No, I'm not a fan of differentiating salary/benefit schedules. Rather like a ponzi scheme. "Join us; you'll make less at the beginning, but one day you'll be at the top." And I wish I could type this next part as small as the background whispered explanation--"That is if you don't lose your job in any necessary cost-cutting measures the employer might have to make to support this plan." Rather like someone I know who lamented in retirement about medication costs increasing (from $1 per) because there weren't enough new union members joining to offset benefit costs.


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I see. Crystal clear. Like a ponzi scheme, but without consideration of company success based upon worker morale, customer satisfaction, added collective bargaining benefits, and so on. Got it.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I have hundreds of articles from last 3 years of hundreds of thousands who were UNemployed and equal numbers furloughed. I had family member on furlough pay for 16 months, then UNemployed for another 16 months...,.all the while reading articles of Bay Area & CA public unions who skated right along receiving COL increase, when there was NO inflation. We won't even start on the raises that continued...and fat retirements continuing, and we know which locals took youthful retirements... so we pay them AND the newbie replacement. Not sure you activists should have brought up 1%. They really don't affect my life, but you sure do ! Unemployed or not !!!


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Anti-Union says about unions: "Yes, they DO do bad things going way back.... Chicage mobs 'selling protection', buying off Chicago cops, Teamsters union, a tangled web or corruption and thugs. They don't belong in our schools, our local state governments, our private clubs, and certainly don't belong in our neighborhood markets. Now they're sucking in occupiers and illegals."

Yes, the Chicago mobs -- most people don't know that Al Capone was a unionized grocery worker who paid off thousands of Chicago cops in lettuce and tomatoes that Capone and the other union mobster thugs stole out of the grocery bins from the Chicago Red Owl stores. A really good history of the unions can be found in the HBO series The Sopranos. For those who haven't seen it, Tony Soprano is a union grocery boss who organizes corrupt teachers to innoculate their students with National Socialism and other Mussolini tactics. The history of unions shows how unions used to bash in the heads of cops, pinkertons, national guardsmen, and in at least one case they pooped in one Chicago resident's pick-up truck. Keep these marching statists away from our children!!!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

To your previous post: No argument that customer satisfaction is a must, and even high worker morale means productivity and quality service/merchandise. But we both know you don't need to be in a union to be a happy employee. Can you provide data that links company success to "added collective bargaining agreements"?


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

@"But we both know you don't need to be in a union to be a happy employee."

Absolutely. That's what unionized public sector workers just haven't yet come to grips with. One can be just as happy being treated like garbage in nonunionized private companies. That's why corporations shouldn't spend the millions upon millions they do attempting to stop new unions from forming and to bust up existing unions. Because it's only rational for an individual in a union to want to work for less, and with less security and pension, than if that same individual were working for a nonunionized company. The relative decline of unions isn't because of advanced union-busting/preventing tactics; no, rather, it's a matter of rational individuals simply foresaking their union protections and advantages for the happiness of being treated like so much human garbage.

Note how the "libertarian" consistently voices so much concern for the welfare of "the company," and in so doing, pooh-poohs the welfare of the individual members of the unions. Corporations ARE people -- and they are the people who COUNT for the self-avowed libertarian along with her tea bagger friends. And workers? Eh, not so much.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

CCH, I won't defend a union; corporations aren't people; not a tea bag member. I do expect that employees make a livable wage in exchange for their work. I've never been a member of a union, but was paid well and liked where I worked, both in the private and public sectors.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I think the people at Foxconn would disagree with you Kathleen. Seems like before unions, some of these same issues were taking place here in the US. Web Link

"In 2010, average real income per family grew by 2.3% (Table 1) but the
gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.6% while bottom 99%
incomes grew only by 0.2%. Hence, the top 1% captured 93% of the income
gains in the first year of recovery." Web Link


Combined with the union bashing, the middle class worker is getting screwed and that is exactly the goal. Blame the working class, those who fight to protect their rights, so the top 1% can CONTINUE to get away with less taxes, more loopholes, and padding their Swiss Bank accounts is not even valid with the facts about the recovery and economy today. And yet so many "protect" these people. The private sector certainly isnt hurting and to hear them blame unions is really just a diversion from the real corruptions they are pulling over on the middle class as we speak!


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

You can't speak for us. I'm working middle-class and you cannot say I'm getting screwed. I am the private sector and am proud to have the spine and competance to depend on my own skills and risk standing alone. Sorry you aren't good enough to be confident that you can depend on yourself. sad you must stoop to the use of force and lies to rationalize your behavior (which is only for yourself, since we don't buy it).


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

John, I don't know that Foxconn would be a good example--they pay higher wages than elsewhere in the country (yes, I understand there are issues beyond pay) and people line up to get what are considered to be desirable jobs. Isn't the bigger issue that communist China is, by definition, supposed to be a worker's paradise. But it isn't.

I've explained this before, but I grew up in a union household and saw the less than positive side for our family. I worked at a trucking company and saw the very negative side of unions. I have never been nor have I needed to be in a union. I've always been paid well and treated with respect.

I don't blame the 1% or the other 99%. I have questions about unbelievable compensation at the top (didn't take a union to get them there) and tenure/seniority and unsustainable pensions for unions. Unions had their place, but today I think unions need to adjust their thinking.

AU . . . a group of people with concerns about compensation and pay don't need a union leader in order to sit at a table with company leaders to discuss changes for the benefit of all.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Right now we have the unions and we have the gambling and those are the best things to have."


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

These union types. What, do they think we're Canada? Or Sweden? Or the workers' paradise of China? Because that's the big issue. That they're all the same. Them and the National Socialists. My goal has always been to work at a company like Foxconn where 150 workers threatened to commit mass suicide unless conditions of work were improved.

I've never been a union member myself. I'm a libertarian, and so I don't use anything that is state owned. I quit going to public libraries when I was ten, which is right before I spotted a union member pooping in my Daddy's pick-up truck. I'm sure I'd do okay at Foxconn because I've always been a suck-up and so bosses like me. I'd be happy to laugh and point my finger in mockery at the fools who thought so much of themselves and their families that they'd even think of committing mass suicide.

The top 1% sure didn't need to be in a union to get that 93% bump, that's for sure. They didn't need to threaten mass suicide, that's for sure. What better argument can one offer against unions??


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I know the story at Foxconn. Like WalMart, please go ahead an unionize those workers as well. No one is stopping you, well except for those pesky communist leaders, and maybe an ocean.

Love how you keep twisting the fact that teamsters defecated in the cabs of semis--not my car nor one else's personal vehicle. I worked for the feds and the state. If showing up, doing your job well, and contributing is sucking up, guilty.

The 1% didn't need unions, lots of the 99% didn't need unions--exactly 87.2% it turns out are not union members. "In 2011, the union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union--was 11.8 percent . . ." Read the report. Biggest membership sector, public: Web Link


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

My brother-in-law is a bigshot exec at Walmart in Arkansas. He tells me that Walmart does not permit its workers to unionize because unions are against freedom. And in the company's effort to uphold these freedoms of the free world, it spends millions upon millions to supress silly and irrational employee efforts to unionize. For example, the Walmart company deploys a cadre of workplace spies -- Wally's Watchers -- who report on any employee who they hear mention anything about either unfair labor practices or unionizing. They then fire the spied upon disgruntled one in order to protect the freedom of the other employees who don't need to hear all that crappola. They also wiretap employees' phones and intercept their emails in order to suppress any union effort that obstructs human freedom, like organizing.

I asked my bigshot brother-in-law why Walmart bothered, because union membership is down, and is down obviously because workers would rather be free and underpaid than enslaved to a union. Well, he told me that sometimes people do irrational things. Like try to organize workers into a union. So, for some inexplicable reason, a couple of times up in Canada, some irrational devious ones were able to slip on through past Wally's Watchers and the Walmart workers voted overwhelmingly to unionize. (Go figure!) Well, rather than accept the "legality" of the workers' vote to unionize, they simply had to close down their unionized stores. Thank goodness we have corporations that are so willing to give up profits just to protect our freedoms against workers being able to organize and vote to unionize.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Worker satisfaction (2010): Web Link

Another article (2012): Web Link

Gotta love the comment at the end of this article: "I guess people are happy enough to be working -- if they don't have a boss or union rep breathing down their backs!"


Posted by Janet, a resident of Avila
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Union moles have been working in Wal-mart for years trying to unionize them. You have to read "I was a union mole at Kmart" below:

Web Link

Given their lack of success at unionizing Wal-mart, the unions have people they pay like ol' Choo Choo above parked on message forums and blogs all day as well.

Anyone who knows about unions know the practice of 'salting' where they plant union operatives in businesses just to unionize them. Moles and covert operatives are a part of whole smoke and mirrors action along with parking people all day on message forums just to spar with the general public. Lovely.



Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Yes, never underestimate the state of the economy and the power of an expanded lumpenproletariat to get everyone saying they like their jobs. Oh, but they don't like their pay, and they're overworked, and they don't sleep enough, and those who are offered vacation time don't take it because they might not have a job when they get back, and they feel generally insecure? But what's not to like? Heck, if I was asked about my own job satisfaction, I'd go stand right in front of my boss and tell the surveyors that I liked it just fine. I'm no coward. [But I am too embarrassed to actually act dimwittedly enough to site such links as offering any evidence of any kind about anything.]

Now, what these studies didn't ask was this: "If you had an opportunity to be unionized, with better pay, safer and healthier job conditions, and more job security, would you want that?" And you know what? Study after study shows that workers prefer to be underpaid, insecure, and unhealthy than to have their personal freedom trampled by some union leader breathing down their neck while she helps them file a grievance.

What Janet is saying about union moles is so true. My bigshot Arkansas brother-in-law says that the moles are sent to the University of Chicago's Saul Alinsky School for Stalinist Activism where they must swear an oath to tear down American freedoms like the right to organize before they can even think about becoming a high-paid union mole. That's why Walmart spends millions on legal teams and supervisory spy teams, and why it fires any employee it hears bad-mouthing Walmart or the conditions of its workplace. Freedom in this country means being able to fire anyone who dares to express a desire to improve the conditions of work. And Walmart's PR Dept in Little Rock did NOT pay me to write this, either!!!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Really, ChooChooChump, people generally think they deserve higher pay (or would at least like to make more--where is the union in securing that--but ask them to, say, get a higher education . . . ); some employees genuinely are taking on more because of the economy, so the stress isn't a big surprise (I wonder how much unions have to do with that); and I highly doubt the questions were asked in front of bosses. And now we prove that even Princeton isn't good enough for you.

Well, you can ask the union question as long as you include: "and you'll pay a substantial amount in dues, and you'll be last in and first out, and the pension plan could be gone by the time you retire if you actually make it to the finish line."

And moles . . . heck, don't you just hate that a union tactic might be turned around and used against you?


Posted by Janet, a resident of Avila
on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

A typical Union Mole is a worker who is paid by a union to infiltrate a company in order to unionize that company.

My favorite Union Mole tactic is when simultaneously to Walmart announcing they are moving into the vacant Nob Hill location, management members of the union suddenly start moving into the neighborhoods surrounding the vacant Nob Hill location to infiltrate the neighborhood in order to mobilize neighborhood opposition to Walmart moving into that neighborhood.


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Yes, by far it is worse for unions to use moles to help workers organize than it is for Wally's Watchers to make sure anyone who has union thoughts or sympathies gets fired. Or to shut down an entire store because the workers have voted to unionize. I mean, how could that even be compared to union molism? I mean, they are sooooo comparable, but being a union mole is by far the worst, because they want to deny me my freedom to shop, which is far more important than the freedom to work for a fair living wage.

I don't understand how some ignoramus who refers to me as ChooChooChump could be so stone stupid as to think that a Gallup poll is the same as a study coming out of Princeton University. I guess the stupidity is in keeping with being an avowed libertarian who worked most of her life in the public sector on the taxpayer's dole, and who then retired early with pension so she can complain about public sector workers' pensions. Takes a lot of crust.... Or stupidity, perhaps. Who knows. Don't want to go there....

But I digress. The reason why Princeton scholars would not think of conducting a "study" as the one conducted by Gallup is that workers' responses to such questions could never be trusted. Like me. I'm a natural born suck-up. I can kiss a boss's boots better than anyone. And so I'm always going to respond to some unknown surveyor with the God's truth. But what about the union moles? I bet they'd answer otherwise. Because they're evil, really really evil.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Kathleen, so what is your point about unions then? You believe they are ruining the industry they represent? You are against workers having a say in their working place rights? Do you believe that just because you personally havent felt the need for a union that others are having the same experience? Just look at the education threads here- If I were a teacher in this town, with the kind of ignorant comments I read here, I would be thankful to have protection from so many misinformed "armchair" educators.


Posted by Janet, a resident of Avila
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

This thread is about Walmart. Go start a thread on teachers unions if you want to talk about teacher unions. With unions, last in hired are first fired regardless of their qualifications. So if the last hired are terrific and great for customers or whoever they serve, it doesn't matter, they are the first laid off. This means that substandard employees with longevity continue to work in the organization until they: 1) leave 2) retire 3) die 4) get arrested for some criminal act in which they are videotaped so there is proof.

Also, if there are problems in the workplace, union members go to the union leader rather than the management of the company to solve problems.

The companies so bogged down in union rules and regulations, and unable to make a profit then leave the country.

Those companies that cannot leave the country have poor customer service, constantly have financial crises situations, and in general ask for more money from their customers or taxpayers or Federal bailouts to stay in business.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

ChooChooChump, My bad. I didn't post the Princeton information because it was from 2005. My bad. Doesn't change the rest.

John, Depends on the union, but I don't see the advantages to corporation, and often, not for the membership either. I'm not against workers choosing, but when is the last time you heard of people being able to opt out of a union already in place? So a union organized a group years ago (teachers, for example). Now if you want to teach, you cannot do so without joining the union. If you try to opt out, you are ostracized, can only opt out for very limited reasons (like religious beliefs), and can then only opt out of a portion of the dues. It's a never-ending cycle.

I can't speak for all the teachers in this district or for community members who speak from an armchair. However, there are many reasons to be concerned about what unions have wrought.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:17 am

Good article in Wed. (today's)Contra Costa Times..."Wal Mart", all about the new WM markets going in the East Bay.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

Link to Times' story: Web Link


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

"Wal-Mart's full-time hourly associates are paid an average wage of $12.69 an hour." And out of the 75 workers or so, per store, that will add up to 3 full-time hourly associates. Walmart has learned that the overwhelming majority of its workers would rather work 24-32 hours a week at lower wages and no benefits, though Walmart offers them a discount on pills for heart disease, high blood pressure, and other maladies commonly associated with job stress.

The point that needs to be stressed here is that Walmart offers freedom like we haven't seen in this country for a long time. Once upon a time, the owners of coal companies offered children the freedom to come and work for them. Then the corrupt and irresponsible unions agitated, pooped in the owners' trucks, the collectivist State intervened, and the childrens' freedom was squelched as they were forced back into school. Today, Walmart is giving its predominantly part-time workers the same opportunity to freely choose when faced with the principle that offered 10 year-olds their opportunities in the coal mines: WORK FOR LESS OR DIE!

I for one am proud to have a Walmart going up in my neighborhood. It will give me freedom of consumer choice, which is the most cherished value in my household. Ladies, shop til you drop! I think George Bush said that.


Posted by Barry, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

City Councils are elected to consider land uses and if they are consistent or not with the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Period. The property is designated for a retail grocery store. Period. If Walmart operates the same as the approval given to Nob Hill, it is consistent with City land use approvals. If denying the occupancy were to occur, it'd be like someone appealing a Starbucks because they like Peets or Donut King better and feel a personal right to mandate their personal taste. Instead of shopping elsewhere. Letting an appeal of a zoning permit occur is a horrendous mistake and may even pale to getting our collective butts kicked over the affordable housing lawsuit. Change the ordinance to avoid such stupid games and making the 10 o'clock news again for being an uptight suburban city who thinks the sky is falling. Oh yea, to those opposing Walmart, I'm sure many of you plan to make your little kids attend the hearing(s) and cajole them into holding a sign or giving a speech for mommy or daddy. That's the worst of all


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

WHaCk writes "The point that needs to be stressed here is that Walmart offers" jobs "in this country for" those who wish to work for them. "Once upon a time, the owners of coal companies offered children" jobs and parents, for their own reasons, let them work for the coal mines. "Then unions intervened, and the children were" able to go "back into school"; perhaps making life a bit more difficult for the families counting on the income. "Today, Walmart is giving its predominantly part-time workers the same opportunity to freely choose" whether working for them addresses their personal needs.

"WORK FOR LESS OR DIE!" Tell me who has died as a result of working part-time for WalMart.

"It will give me freedom of consumer choice, which" enables me to provide food for my family in the most economical way.


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff because it contains personal information about an individual or business.)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Sorry Charlie, there is no "work for WalMart or die." There is work for Walmart or someone else, don't work, work for a while at Walmart and then go elsewhere with your experience, work part time for Walmart and go to scHOOl. And you can insert any company name in their spot. We are all going to die eventually.

So for the coal mines, many years later unions came in and organized and the government came in with regulations and it's arguable a great job for adults . . . WOOops. Not so much. People definitely dying on the job, and later from disease.

This was tough to find (took maybe a few seconds): "Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking." Web Link

No one would suggest ten year olds should work, but then you couldn't fill the page with all the drama.

You can organize WalMart workers and it will do little to address "eating high calorie foods in order to stave off exhaustion and depression; high alcohol intake to numb physical pains and psychological anxieties." And those are individual choices as well. What happens for those that might lose their jobs with the increased costs to the company? Examples: Web Link


Posted by WooHooCharlie, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Well, Ms. Iggy, I should have known. Superb power of rationality, real historical acumen, a resort to a link or two, and an unflinching defense of a belief in the ideology of choice. Since valid studies cannot be distinguished from from invalid ones -- hey, Cato Institute is good enough for me, too, or anything coming from Hillsdale College which continues to be strong advertiser for Rush Limbaugh's hilarious smackdowns of smack hounds, any link will do. (These are Fox News' top sources too!) Those 443,000 who died of cancer is an estimate, as it is impossible to determine with certainty whether a person died from smoking cigarettes, inhaling paint fumes at work, or toxic waste fumes near the home. There are no stats that reveal with certainty how jobs kill beyond showing that working class folks tend not to live very long compared to those born on third base thinking they hit a triple. Not just from mine cave-ins, but over longer time periods from poisonings and crippling diseases and the kinds of stress that American workers know perhaps better than anyone on earth. But no matter. Everyone has to die sometime. And you and I will never be separated from our blind ignorance on this matter, will we?

Let's see. Take a liberal sob story. You know, a single parent, three young kids to feed and to get thru daycare (boo hoo). You and I know she has a choice: hmmmm, work at Walmart or teach at Yale or do rocket science at NASA; hmmmm, work at Walmart or maybe go to Harvard and get a degree in software engineering. Yeah, of course. Oh, working-class life contributes to a significantly shortened lifespan: hey, no problema, cuz everyone has got to die sometime. To think otherwise would obviously make one a Maoist collectivist liberal. (And so you see, Ms. Iggy, you and I aren't all that far removed from Steve after all, are we? Same cognitive sophistication; same moral sensibilities. At base, we're haters you and I, though our hatred is validated by the rich who have set the rules of the game which is in keeping with this ideology we embrace.)

And what would happen if Walmart's profit margins were diverted more in the direction of its workers rather than its owners? Perish the thought. The Waltons' billions are far more important to us kiss-up wannabe's than some single working mother's three kids. Screw her! She can choose to go to Harvard instead. Or she can organize her fellow workers until she gets fired for so doing -- ha-ha-ha. You and me, Ms. Igg, we're all about protecting the Waltons from the evil worker who desires full-time employment at a fair living wage. Long live the Waltons! And the single mother of three and her kids? Tough toenails, sister, that's life -- well, that's death, actually (ha-ha)and what could be more glorious than dying in poverty, in the employ of Walmart, and knowing the Waltons will live on?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Cato is a reputable institution. Don't know why any organization would advertise with Rush. Don't watch Fox--PBS News Hour. There's plenty of information to be found about deaths from smoking--I went with CDC because of its reputation. How much tragedy can you stuff into one family story: all the adults smoke causing first, second, and thirdhand smoke for all added to working where there are paint fumes and living next to a toxic dump. You forgot the nearby volcanos, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, slum landlords, rundown cars leaking fumes . . . I don't travel in circles with people born on third base; just hardworking family and friends.

The mother, rather than the ludicrous options you divert to, you actually want to work at a unionized WalMart. And you never quite get around to answering how your pension which invests in WalMart means you are making gains off the very people you say are trapped. No weeping on paydays for you. Hater, not me. You can have that club all to yourself.

The owners own shares, just like your pension. So can we skim your pension plan (and all shareholders) to pay mom more and perhaps for her first steps into a community college? I don't protect or defend the Waltons or WalMart--just point to the ludicrous claims you make. Mom will have found someone to help with her kids and gets a job working nights at WalMart stocking shelves just as the union swoops in to save everyone--better pay, better benefits, (WooHoo) and "I'm so sorry Mom, but we have to let you go--last in first out--you understand. I know a paint manufacturer on the dark side of town (smoke stacks ya know) who might be hiring though." I don't know how anyone in America gets up in the morning between the only awful low paying jobs available to some and the guilt felt by anyone making more than them (that would include those people in high paying union jobs, I'm sure).

p.s. Money doesn't stop death and tragedy. Just ask the Waltons. Sam (founder) died at 74; his son John at 59. Oh, and Sam's wife Helen left her money to charity. There's the Kennedys, Gettys, and Edwards or pick any death of the entertainment or sports industries. I don't think these deaths are any more important, by the way, than anybody else who dies.

What "we" have is a complete disagreement on the value of today's unions. And we aren't going to change each other's minds. But if you want to keep posting, I'll at least raise questions about what you assert.


Posted by sknywench, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

sknywench is a registered user.

Dear Choo Choo, In responding to Barry's comments which you loooooove, its a real reach on your part to say a local zoning ordinance doesnt have to be equally applied because the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been amended in the past. The latter occurs to clarify the intent and most importantly are determined by the high courts. So that being the case, you would support a lawsuit to deny WalMart which will obviously cost the community alot of money to lose. Please stay on message. Get educated on land use law which is to protect propery rights from unjust taking by government.


Posted by ChooChooHank, a resident of Verona
on Mar 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff because it contains personal information about an individual or business.)


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

‘Much Ado’ or is it Adios for ObamaCare?
By Tom Cushing | 36 comments | 1,177 views

Political posturing about water
By Tim Hunt | 7 comments | 846 views

Backpacked with care is back
By Roz Rogoff | 2 comments | 526 views