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The Checkout Line

Photo by Ted Soqui

Contract talks between the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons and Ralphs remain at a standstill, affecting some 70,000 employees at nearly 900 markets in Southern and Central California. The two sides are at odds over health and pension benefits as well as cuts to Sunday premium pay and a proposed two-tier wage system, in which new hires would be paid considerably less than long-term employees. As it stands now, a supermarket cashier earns from $9.78 to $18.90 an hour, and a bagger starts his career at $7.55 an hour. Just for comparison’s sake, here is a list of wages paid by non-picketed grocery stores.

Trader Joe’s

Part-time crew members, who work as baggers, cashiers, box boys and stock persons, can start at wages as low as $6.75 an hour with no experience, but generally earn from $7.50 to $15.85 an hour.

Mayfair Market (Gelson’s) and Stater Bros.

Pay is the same as provided under the UFCW contract. These stores are not being picketed because they have agreed to abide by the terms of any new contract.

Hows Market

Cashiers and stockers in Pasadena start at $12.

Bristol Farms

Baggers start at around $8 an hour. Cashiers start at $9, and top pay is $18. Clerks/shelf stockers begin at $10 and can make $16.

Wild Oats Natural Marketplace

Cashiers start at around $9 an hour. A stocker gets a starting wage between $8 and $9. The maximum pay for a cashier or stocker is $14.30 per hour.

Whole Foods Market

Baggers/courtesy clerks earn from $7.50 to $11.50 an hour. Cashiers make anywhere from $9 to $18 an hour.


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