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Spring Valley Grocery Worker is Poster Child for New York Times Story

Report focuses on part-time employees such as Shannon Hardin at Fresh & Easy on Campo Road.

A 2,600-word New York Times story on the plight of part-time workers features the Fresh & Easy store in Spring Valley and employee Shannon Hardin.  

The front-page report by Steven Greenhouse, published Sunday, says Hardin, 50, oversees seven self-checkout stations at the Campo Road grocery, “usually by herself.”

“Typically working shifts of five or six hours, she hops between stations—bagging groceries, approving alcohol purchases, explaining the checkout system to shoppers and urging customers to join the retailer’s loyalty program, all while watching for shoplifters,” the story said.

Hardin was quoted as saying: “I like it. I’m a people person.”

But the Times noted that after nearly five years at Fresh & Easy, Hardin remains a part-time worker “despite her desire to work full-time. In fact, all 22 employees at her store are part-time except for the five managers.”

The Times says she earns $10.90 an hour, with annual pay amounting to $16,500.

“I can’t live on this,” Hardin is quoted as saying. “It’s almost impossible.”

Hardin, who is single, was depicted as forever urging her boss to give her more hours, but instead, “they turn around and hire more people.”

Officials of the British company Tesco, which owns Fresh & Easy, declined to be interviewed, the Times said.

Hardin told the paper she moonlights 15 or so weekends a year as a security guard at Chargers and San Diego State football games.

“But she still has such a hard time making ends meet, she said, that she has gone to the movies just three times in the last five years,” the report said. “Nor does she own a television.” 

Libi Uremovic October 29, 2012 at 01:02 PM
i'm not exactly sure why they singled out fresh & easy...it was walmart that invented this scam.... there's a federal law that requires large corporations to provide health care insurance...if the employee works a certain number of hours.... i think it's 32.5 hours ....so the companies never allow the employees above the minimum hours so they never have to provide insurance... it's a perfect example of government intervention backfiring on the line worker... it was designed to provide her with health care but the results are that they refuse to give her full time employment.... ...and she still has no employee provided health care - so she has to turn to the government.... foreign companies pay good wages and benefits to all of their employees and still make goo profit......everywhere except the states.... where they pay less and make more profit.... ....and that profit goes in their pockets and out of our country.....and we're left holding the bill....because we're stupid...
Jimmy Sanders October 29, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Fresh & Easy is a subsidiary of TESCO PLC http://www.tescoplc.com/
Saul Rubinowitz October 29, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Points well made Libi. The Average Salary of a Unionized grocery worker in California is about 10k more a year. That, with health care would make a BIG difference in Shannon's life. Hard to believe that the 3 big chains in Southern California (Ralphs, Albertsons & Vons) made over 3.2 billion in profits last year. Even while being bridled with the 'Socialist" idea of paying their employees a living wage and providing health care!! ALL benefits fought for and secured by their Union Card! While all the profits her company (2nd most profitable worldwide retailer, right after....Walmart) makes gets sent overseas! There are stories like Shannons all across this country, low wage employees working in 'At will' states who have no recourse and are lost. Yet we continue as a country to demonize organized labor and the ability to bargain collectively! Americas "Free Hand of the Market and profit above all cost' has got to end. Profits will continue to go to Wall Street, Main Street will continue to be decimated. Unfortunately, I feel nothing will really change til after the Revolution! I for one am ready to start, but not til after Survivor is over, ohh it is sooo good this year! (Please note; Tongue in Cheek) UNITE! UNITE! UNITE! (and turn off your TV)
Lori Kern October 29, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I'm with you Saul. I'm sure the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) would love to organize Fresh and Easy.
Batman October 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I'm voting for Chuck Muse.

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