–For Immediate Release–
August 25, 2019
Contact: Kelley McAllister, UFCW Local 555, (415) 794-2687, kmcallister@ufcw555.
Local grocery store workers authorize strike; gender pay gap is confirmed; elected officials respond
Tigard, Ore–On the evening of Saturday, August 24th in Baker City, OR, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 grocery store members concluded their vote in the last of a total of 92 meetings that were held throughout the summer across Oregon and SW Washington, on behalf of 20,000+ affected workers.
In addition to confirming Local 555 findings re: the percentages of men/women in Schedules A/B and resultant pay differentials, the SPES also found:
- Women are more likely to work full-time, but earn less doing so. (pg 4)
- Women are twice as likely to be placed in lead positions but earn an average of $1.68 less an hour than a man who is promoted to a lead position. (pg 4)
- The gender gap in the grocery industry has closed by only 5.8% in the last 81 years. (pg 4)
- The pay gap exists regardless of which variables are accounted for. (pg 5)
- Similarly, regardless of department within Schedule A/B, the gender split still exists. (pgs 19-20)
- Outside of the grocery contract, Schedule A does not always designate a higher wage. Specifically, the entire non-foods department is paid at a Schedule B wage that is titled “Schedule A.”
- Historical issues and similar studies (pgs 9-11) and other findings (pgs 28-29) that may collectively illustrate how historical expectations for “women’s work” and/or societal stereotypes may be tied to Schedule B wages.
- Questions of relative profit margin, addressed between pgs 29/30. “However, Schedule B departments appear to have comparable or higher gross profit margins, which could translate to higher, not lower, marginal product of labor.”
- “As a whole, Kroger generated $121.2 billion in sales in fiscal year (“FY”) 2018, an increase of 23.2% over the past 5 years, and earned $3.1 billion in profits, a 63.1% jump from FY 2017. Kroger has also returned billions to shareholders in recent years, including $1.6 billion in share buybacks and $444 million in dividend payments in 2017, and an additional $2.2 billion in buybacks authorized in 2018.” (pg 6)
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555 represents nearly 25,000 workers in Oregon and SW Washington and has grown to be the largest private sector labor union in Oregon. Local 555 members are a diverse group of workers in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare, among other industries.