I worked at Safeway (Less than a year)
If you really want to work you can get a job at Safeway. But you may not get your hours depending which section you like to work in.
Low wages and Union Fees
Advice to Management
Bring up min wage to something like $15 to start then the Union Fees make sense
I have been working at Safeway (More than a year)
Living wage and lots of overtime, since the job is hourly. Work with a few dedicated and committed colleagues who will do whatever it takes to make it work. If you are skilled at multitasking, you will survive.
Hard to get time off. You're getting all that overtime because there is a severe shortage of grocery managers in the Safeway chain. Highly likely you will be transferred to a different store more than once so Albertson's (new parent company of Safeway) can plug all the holes. Upper management (2nd assistant store manager and above) have been retiring or quitting in increasing numbers since Albertson's has imposed a "do more with less" strategy. This means they are promoting grocery managers who aren't ready for the responsibility or the lack of overtime pay that comes with a salary position. It also means they are promoting a lot of clerks (or hiring off the street) who have no clue how much work it is to be a manager at Safeway - or how much abuse you must now take as a non-union employee. Typical result is burnout and ultimately resignation, termination or stepping down to a union position.
Advice to Management
Tell new hires up front that as a clerk at Safeway, they will be required to pay a union membership initiation fee that amounts to hundreds of dollars. This will help weed out the most common employee at Safeway: the one who works three months then quits to avoid having to pay the initiation fee. Give all competent union workers with strong work ethics a pay "bump" in order to retain good people. Don't let desperation dictate hiring standards or lack thereof.
I worked at Safeway (More than a year)
Really great co-workers to work with and if you're lucky you will have friendly regulars that take a load off your bad days
It was an okay company to work with. Not great benefits but you get what you get, they will overwork you and at times don't really care about you.
Advice to Management
Care more about employees as they are an asset to your company, don't treat them like trash and demands this and that, they are human beings just like you, the only difference you're at a higher position.
I worked at Safeway part-time (More than a year)
Good job to gain skills in customer service, cashiering, meeting sales objectives, etc. Union position. Advancement possibilities.
Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and be a quick learner.
I worked at Safeway part-time
Safeway gave me experience in cashiering, custoner service, & money handling. I learned how to work in a fast paced environment & how to multi-task.
Starting pay, i felt, was less than i expected but the benefits was awesome!
I worked at Safeway part-time (Less than a year)
Laid back staff. Baking is relaxed and fun. Can't write much of a review. Probably worked here 3 months maximum. This 20 word minimum...
Low pay, limited career opportunities. Annoying customers who expect you to do crazy things for minimum wage, like really crazy things.
Advice to Management
Nothing. Everything was fine. Was just looking for a summer job. Was not looking to make a career out of it, so take my review with a grain of salt?
I have been working at Safeway full-time (More than 5 years)
Coworkers are for the most part alright.
There's always work
Most regulars are kind
Benefits are good
Good eye and dental plans
Learn new skills
Good deal with 24 hour fitness gym membership
The Safeway products that workers get discounts on are actually better than a lot of name brands.
Can get some good deals on Just For U
Good job opportunities for disabled workers
Good as a first job experience
Pay is barely over minimum wage
Never enough people hired
Never enough people stay
The union initiation fee is more than most are willing to pay about 300-600
Many rude customers
They spread out their workers very thin
Even with a skeleton crew they tell us that there's too many hours being used by workers
Not enough people for the amount of work done. Almost always under staffed
Union dues once a month is in the double digits, almost looks like one third of pay check.
Opportunities to move up vary, depends what department you're in.
Too many can't transfer to other stores or departments.
Deli department in particular is under paid. Also customer service.
New Just For U system makes workers have to go online and add their 10% discount instead of it being automatic.
10% discount only covers Safeway brand products not entire store
Have to fill out safety observations on a weekly basis, gets old very fast
TV in breakroom only shows a circulated Safeway advertisement and Safeway employee extremely basic How to Do Your Job videos. That workers don't watch most of the time.
With the stricter health department requirements being enforced, pressure on departments that handle food has doubled.
Many stores have not been renovated and have a lot of outdated or problematic equipment.
They don't really listen to employees. Employee opinion doesn't mean anything.
A lot of guilt tripping if you call in sick even once.
Could be truly sick and they'll still want you to work.
Union protects even bad workers. If a worker passes probation they could be a horrible worker for a long time before getting fired, talking years.
New contract benefits have been reduced, and you pay more.
I have been working at Safeway part-time (More than 5 years)
The pay is unmatched for the category of work that you do(max pay is equivalent to what you make as an AP/AR Accountant with a 2-year degree), and union benefits include health insurance that is paid for by your employer. If you get a position in an older store, it can be a pretty chill work environment.
Training is nonexistent, non personal, and has a "assembly line" mentality where they train you how to operate a register on a computer training program once, then they expect you to do your produce job perfectly because "you've been here for X years and you STILL don't know how to do your job". Management(the lazy ones) likes to hide in their offices for half their shift or more.
The produce manager is pretty incompetent as far as the condition of his department is concerned. Often not seeing(or choosing not to see) blatant topping off of highly perishable goods(new product should be on bottom, with old and softer product placed on top of the new, NOT the other way around), until there's a puddle of soup on the tables with fruit flies swarming the mess, then he'll fly off on a rage looking for someone to throw under the bus. I would often find products just sitting in the back instead of on the shelves because my coworkers didn't cut them in on the tables. A worse case scenario would have organic products on the back while there are gaping wide holes on the organic displays, and boss man was working the previous day. This coming from a man who would frequently stand over my shoulder when I'm working and go through my work to make sure I'm throwing bad products away, and making sure the products I tossed out really merited being tossed out. Could have used that diligence with other coworkers.
Management has a rather disgusting "blame the victim" mentality, even if they themselves created the problem in the first place. Helping out their front end to ring up customers when called for(and they WILL call you every 15 minutes) "is not an excuse not to finish your work". I'm evidently supposed to do 8 hours of work when I'm standing in front of a register 200 feet away for 4 of those hours. That would be on top of having to help floral blow balloons because management doesn't have the spine to point out the blatantly obvious to their customers, that while this is a 24-hour store, floral clerks are only available from 7 am to 7 pm, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Where's the line if we go down that route? Should I cut meat and fish because the customers want these fresh when the department itself is closed? Should I make sandwiches and deep-fried chicken because the customer is always right and wants them at 5 in the morning? I also like being told "it's your responsibility to take your break" and "it's not my problem", when I bring up the fact that my workload has become so onerous that I have to skip both my allotted breaks daily in order to give myself a half hour more to do my work. What I enjoyed the most is being told "you need to work FASTER". Gee thanks boss, wish I thought of that before routinely skipping my breaks and working through my lunch(and I'm not the only one who does this).
Advice to Management
Actually train your own new employees for once. If you want me to train your new guy, perhaps do so by not having us work on opposite ends of the department. You might also want to check what you say to me, because having the guy who "needs to work faster" train your new hire instead of the old timer whom you tell me works faster and better than me underscores the BS(and favoritism) in your words. Also take care when you lie to my face. If you're going to throw your own boss under the bus for the skeleton crew scheduling, then surround yourself with your grunts during a visit(some of which don't involve your boss), please be aware that not all of us are mindless idiots who don't notice such things.
If your plan is to set yourself apart from Walmart(or so you tell us), try having a little more conviction in your words and not let the pay and benefits be the only thing that sets your two companies apart. Because evidently Walmart and Safeway gets their managerial training from the same place.
If you tell me "there is no excuse", please don't undermine your own words in the same breadth by making excuses for others, insisting that I "don't know the circumstances" for why the old timers don't get their work done, because I can see them when I work the same shift on the same day. You keep treating me like an idiot and I'll act like one.
I should also point out that threatening your own workers isn't going to earn you their loyalty, they'll just give you the "yes boss" to your face, then give you the finger when your back is turned. What you create is a lazy and unmotivated individual who makes a good show when they see you, and shift into low gear when you're not watching.
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