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Grocery union fails in bid for Fresh & Easy price tags
Contra Costa Times ^ | 9/1/12 | Eric Hartley Los Angeles Daily News

Posted on 09/01/2012 10:27:51 AM PDT by SmithL

A union effort to attack the nonunion Fresh & Easy grocery chain by forcing it to put price tags on each individual item, instead of using shelf tags, has fallen short again, with an appeals court ordering the plaintiffs to pay the company's legal costs.

Grocery workers' unions have battled the chain for years, picketing stores, producing attack literature and funding efforts to organize employees.

Two years ago, they found a new battleground: price tags.

Saying Fresh & Easy violated a little-known California law that requires a "clearly readable price" on 85 percent of packaged goods, three union officials sued the store in 2010.

The men, all employees of United Food and Commercial Workers affiliates, said they visited several Fresh & Easy stores -- including one in Van Nuys -- checked products on the shelves and found the stores didn't meet the requirements.

In the midst of a trial in Los Angeles Superior Court last year, the grocer's lawyers asked Judge John P. Shook to rule in their favor without having them put on a defense.

The judge agreed, finding the plaintiffs' testimony was not credible and they had misstated what the law requires.

On Thursday, an appeals court also ruled in Fresh & Easy's favor and ordered the union employees to pay the chain's appeal costs.

(Excerpt) Read more at contracostatimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: food; freshandeasy; grocerystores; grocerywars; unions; unionthugs
I'm no fan of Fresh and Easy. Actually, I refuse to shop at a store that reserves prime parking for hybrids, but this ruling helps keep grocery prices down, and that pleases me.
1 posted on 09/01/2012 10:27:53 AM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL
...a store that reserves prime parking for hybrids...

Aren't these the same people that tell us we should walk more and drive less....?

2 posted on 09/01/2012 10:36:48 AM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: SmithL
If they're non-union and other chains in the area are union then I'd choose them.I always avoid unions when possible.In the Boston area we have Stop & Shop markets.There's a big one right near me but I avoid it like the plague because of its Commie union.
3 posted on 09/01/2012 10:40:23 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Voter ID Equals "No Representation Without Respiration")
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To: SmithL

I used to be a grocery checker.

Long ago, there were NOT scanners & UPC’s.

With the introduction of such time saving & higher accuracy implements, the individual markings were no longer needed.

IF there is such a law about 85% of all items being marked individually, this part of the Calif law needs to be reversed.

Technology has passed it by.


4 posted on 09/01/2012 10:47:04 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: SmithL
I understand where you're coming from on the hybrid parking, though admittedly, the three Fresh N Easy’s that I've shopped at regularly have those ‘clean air and carpool’ spaces pretty much shoved off to the side, and the best parking is the regular spaces.

I just chock it up to it being a UK store, and their launch in the US was just at the time that hybrids were really coming online; it was a fair attempt at targeting a particular market. But they don't carry enough hippie junk for the ecowarriors to love, which is just fine with me.

Quick and easy non-union stores that have fresh merchandise and meals. Between them and Sprouts, that's the majority of our shopping. Some of their products are at great prices, most are at fair prices, but the overpriced products are what you'd expect for a non-subsidized store (over the counter medicines, sanitary products, etc.)

But, all that said and done, the chain's halfway collapsing as it is. Underperforming stores are being shut down, quite a number of stores that were built and outfitted never even opened their doors and a few opened then closed right up again when issues came up about their beer and wine licenses.

I don't know if they'll be around all that much longer, but hope they do manage to hang on.

5 posted on 09/01/2012 10:51:03 AM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: SmithL

Unions are just plain thugs.

If the employees don’t want to join the union - then the union will make them suffer. Same with the employer - until they come around to “the union way of thinking.”

Thugs - every last one of them.

And the supreme court has ruled that RICO laws can not be used to stop their thuggery.


6 posted on 09/01/2012 10:55:03 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: SmithL
I'm a big fan of my local F&E since they moved into a building in my local shopping center that had been empty for years after those !*&#% Albertsons shut it. Albertsons had a long term lease and refused to let another grocery store open in the same place because it competed with another one of their stores.

When they opened the local union picketed them but no one paid attention even here in super liberal Silicon Valley.

F&E are able to stay non-union because they use self-checkout only. I prefer this since with a cashier the prices fly by and there is no way to check them. Plus it screws the unions! ;-)

I had not noticed about the prius slots since we are able to walk to the store. That is a minus but all the pluses outweigh it for me.
7 posted on 09/01/2012 10:55:18 AM PDT by fifedom
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To: SmithL; randog
a store that reserves prime parking for hybrids

Interesting... how is this enforced? What happens if a non-hybrid parks in the "hybrid reserved" space? I'd like to try that... ;-)

8 posted on 09/01/2012 10:57:21 AM PDT by nutmeg (I'm with Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz: "ABO"/Ryan 2012)
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To: SmithL

I love it though. I go in once a week and raid the reduced rack. This week I bought two bags of bagels, a loaf of green chile rye, a container of spinach/asparagus dip, a fresh pizza dough, a four pack of tomatoes, a carton of those mini yellow tomatoes, 2 green apples, 4 ear of corn, an 8 pack of fresh cinnamon rolls ...for $11.


9 posted on 09/01/2012 11:00:06 AM PDT by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: nutmeg
What happens if a non-hybrid parks in the "hybrid reserved" space?

The Segway-mounted "green police" stuff a potato up your tailpipe.

10 posted on 09/01/2012 11:02:47 AM PDT by nascarnation (Defeat Baraq 2012. Deport Baraq 2013)
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To: SmithL
an appeals court ordering the plaintiffs to pay the company's legal costs.

This was in California and I, for one, am shocked sh!tless.

11 posted on 09/01/2012 11:04:19 AM PDT by nascarnation (Defeat Baraq 2012. Deport Baraq 2013)
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To: nutmeg

A local chain store has one location in my area with “compact car parking only” spaces closest to the building. It is in a suburban/rural/college town area. The only time hybrids park their is during the school year from faculty.

It is not enforced as far as I can tell as pickups, SUV’s and large sedans park their all the time. I beleive it is from the company that owns the shopping center as no other similar centers in the city have them.


12 posted on 09/01/2012 11:07:03 AM PDT by matt04
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To: SmithL

The People’s Republic on Massachusetts used to require individual labeling and shelf tags. That was recently changed to shelf tags only as long as a certain percentage were accurate, IIRC.

“Consumer advocates” and probably Unions, fought to stop it because they believe customers are too stupid to read the shelf tag.


13 posted on 09/01/2012 11:10:03 AM PDT by matt04
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To: matt04

Shelf pricing and scan labels were an other job killer, like ATMs.

No wonder Baraq can’t get the unemployment down....


14 posted on 09/01/2012 11:13:37 AM PDT by nascarnation (Defeat Baraq 2012. Deport Baraq 2013)
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To: nutmeg
Interesting... how is this enforced?

It's not. It's private property, so the store would have to ask you to move, and they're not going to do that to a customer...I would hope.

15 posted on 09/01/2012 11:13:47 AM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: SmithL

Our Fresh and Easy does not have those types of parking spaces. All are regular except for the handicapped.
Every time I go there they are being picketed. The picketers stand right in front of the doors and try to either make you talk to them or go around them. I love it. I get the chance to tell them to get the heck out of my way. ;)


16 posted on 09/01/2012 11:25:32 AM PDT by sheana
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To: SmithL

They’d better leave Fresh and Easy alone! I really like the one by me. Great prices, good produce, and I’ve been real happy with their store brand products, too.


17 posted on 09/01/2012 11:50:27 AM PDT by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
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To: matt04

” “compact car parking only” spaces closest to the building.... pickups, SUV’s and large sedans park their all the time.”

Segregating the parking by vehicle size makes a lot of sense — more vehicles can be parked in a given area that way. Usually, spaces reserved for compact cars are too small to accommodate large vehicles. The lanes in a typical parking lot are usually barely large enough to drive through. I hate it when the back end of (say) a crew-cab pickup sticks out into the traffic lane. That often causes a traffic backup, as people struggle to squeeze by the offender.

BTW, not all compact cars are hybrids; and not all hybrids are compact cars.


18 posted on 09/01/2012 12:04:05 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: ridesthemiles

Good points. Also, checkouts didn’t have video display terminals, where the customer can see the prices when items are scanned. I don’t hesitate to refuse a purchase, where the price isn’t what I expected to see (based on the shelf tag).


19 posted on 09/01/2012 12:06:27 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Nea Wood

This chain is in deep trouble in the US. Here in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs low desert area) of So Cal, they built stores from scratch. However, at least 1/3 of those stores never opened. The two stores closest to our home were completed 3 to 4 years ago. The signage went up but the stores never opened. Once, they posted Help Wanted signs on both stores. Then about 6 months ago, they announced that in order “Not to confuse people”, they were removing all of the signage. Huh??? We were not confused. We all knew the stores were not open.

Plus, the closest one was located right outside the gates of a 5,000 home Sun City. It is a great location for the nearly 9,000 people who live here, not even considering the surrounding community homes. Now, I understand the Brits are looking to sell the entire US business.


20 posted on 09/01/2012 12:21:11 PM PDT by CdMGuy
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To: 2banana
Unions are just plain thugs.

And they're Marxist thugs, too. The union movement is one of the last vestiges of Marxism in the United States. Well, apart from that presidency thing.

21 posted on 09/01/2012 4:25:43 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Without economic freedom, no other form of freedom can have material meaning.)
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To: randog
It's not. It's private property, so the store would have to ask you to move, and they're not going to do that to a customer...I would hope.

Excellent... so park a big gas guzzler with anti-Obama stickers in one of those spots next time, lol!

I'll check out my local Whole Foods stores... I think they may have "Hybrid only" parking spaces as well. My car isn't a hybrid, but isn't a gas guzzler either (it's an old Toyota Camry wagon). I have plenty of anti-Obama stickers, though. ;-)

22 posted on 09/01/2012 8:13:08 PM PDT by nutmeg (I'm with Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz: "ABO"/Ryan 2012)
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To: SmithL

There’s no law reserving those spots for hybrids. This question was asked and answered by Fresh and Easy in my local paper. Anyone can park in the so-called Hybrid spots.


23 posted on 09/04/2012 4:19:18 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: CdMGuy

Well Tesco has been losing money hand over fist in an attempt to break into the grocery market. They knew it was going to cost a ton of money to invest upfront and sure enough it did, but I haven’t read that they are ready to throw in the towel yet.

Most of the stores that they mothballed were poor performing stores in areas that have been hit hard by foreclosures (Vegas, the desert, etc.)

At least I hope not. I love my local F&E.


24 posted on 09/04/2012 4:27:28 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: Smogger

Yes, we like their stores as well. However, in our area, they opened a store in a location that seemed to make no sense in terms of population. Then the two stores closest to us are in populated areas with a large potential number of customers.

They removed the signs on the two unopened stores, and the local paper reported they were put up for sale. A shopping center was built across the street from the F&E closest to us that did not open. There is a Stater Brothers supermarket that is packed at all hours of the day and night. It has to be one of the highest grossing Stater Brothers markets of this local So Cal chain. F&E would have done just as well, especially considering it was located just outside the gates of a Sun City community of 9,000 seniors. Big mistake.


25 posted on 09/05/2012 3:37:01 PM PDT by CdMGuy
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