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How the new site owner treats its employees


Original Post
mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

https://southseattleemerald.com/2016/07/12/employees-describe-slipping-into-homelessness-while-working-at-rei/

Something to think about while you're deciding how to spend that dividend or 20%off coupon.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

The Reddit link was a hell of a eye opener.

I hear too many times from people that they can't afford to buy from their local shop. I always workout a discount when buying a small shop. It might only be 10-20% but getting the right advice and fit is priceless.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
mark felber wrote:https://southseattleemerald.com/2016/07/12/employees-describe-slipping-into-homelessness-while-working-at-rei/ Something to think about while you're deciding how to spend that dividend or 20%off coupon.
That's only one side of the story. Some of the people might need to get a second job. And the whole reference to "living wages" is silly. You're worth more, you get paid more. Don't like the way your employer is treating you? Go work somewhere else.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Yeah, shift labor is rough...I worked at Starbucks for a while and the unpredictable scheduling and hours was pretty horrible. It's also highly variable based on location (and boss) and 100% preventable. The service industry generally gets screwed.

Eric LaRoche · · Keene, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 25

They don't carry the brands I buy anyways like DMM.

Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 410

I agree with the other commenters, if you choose to be there , you have chosen to accept the work conditions. I had to do the same, but I choose to. I worked on Iron Counth Ambilance in Cedar City Utah while going to SUU. When I was on call, for 12 hour shift, meaning I always had to be within 10 min of the building, I was paid $0.50 an hour, yes, fifty cents an hour. I would go a whole shift with no calls, make $6.00 dollars for the whole 12 hour shift and still have taxes taken out. But hey, I choose that job, and it paid off, because having that on my resume got me into a Physician Assistant (PA) program and having had ambulance experience on my resume helped me land my first job. Did I have to pass sometime homeless, yes, did my local climbing shop let me sleep in there huge ass mountain hardware Everest base camp tent and plug my ambulance pager into the light inside, yes, did it suck....yeah, but ya gotta pay your dues. I also made other choices too, like not getting married or having kids. I mean come on people, be responsible, don't have kids if you can't support them. Keep a hoody on the woody. We had a running joke on our ambulance, what's the difference between one of our paramedics and a large pizza from Pizza Hut? One of them can feed a family.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

FYI You dont need to spend your dividend at REI. You can request a check and spend the money elsewhere or save it.

rei.com/membership/request-…

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Part of the issues presented in this article seem to stem from the Seattle $15 minimum wage.

1) Not getting promised raise: the company has had to significantly increase everyone's wage in the area - there may not be money budgeted for that additional raise.

2) Hour's cut - not based on performance: the stores are probably leaning down due to the increased cost of labor - but don't want to explicitly let anyone go. Seems like they're basically letting attrition from lost hours do that. I would guess the stores have less staff on hand than they did before. I'd also guess as people leave hours will rise again. Either that or their store management hasn't adjusted their headcount based on required labor - which would be pretty stupid.

The one guy from NC's complaint seems pretty valid: the company seems to be prioritizing a metric that conflicts with their stated goals. Sounds like it was at least heard by the company CEO.

But honestly, I'm taking this one with a big grain of salt.

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

For Christ's sake. Believing in a "living wage" is so economically illiterate there is no point even arguing any more. The value of a dollar in Topeka is not the same as dollar value in Manhattan.

There is one true minimum wage...... $0. Figure it out!

beensandbagged · · R.I. · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 10
FrankPS wrote: That's only one side of the story. Some of the people might need to get a second job. And the whole reference to "living wages" is silly. You're worth more, you get paid more. Don't like the way your employer is treating you? Go work somewhere else.
This is bullshit history is filled with examples of workers getting screwed until they stood up for themselves. If you have good working conditions today it is because someone in the past has put their butt on the line to raise the standards and expectations of what good working conditions are.
mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

Brian, REI has always made an effort to keep employee's hours below the threshold where they would be considered full time employees, so that the employees wouldn't receive the benefits that go with full time status. Given the noise that REI makes about the wonderful benefits they offer their employees, I'd say the company is being deceptive in their marketing and recruiting practices. No, the stores aren't leaning down. They're recruiting employees with promises of great benefits, and marketing themselves to the public as a benevolent employer that offers great benefits, but making sure that not too many employees receive those benefits.

Selling memberships was a stupid performance metric to start with, and if REI's upper management needed to be told that then they're not worth the money they get paid. Most of REI's customers are already members, and it's annoying as hell to have someone try to sell you something you already have or don't want every time you walk up to the cash register in an REI store.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Mark,

Except that the complaints of reduced hours are recent, not "always".

I'm not going to get into the details of how a business is run, but it seems pretty standard to keep the low level sales staff as part time.

REI may offer great benefits for full time, and advertise it, but that doesn't mean they are obligated to provide a full time position for every job they need filled.

Bottom line: someone working the sales floor, or even as a first level supervisor, shouldn't necessarily expect to be full time. And usually it's pretty clear your hiring in for a part time position when you accept it.

As far as selling memberships: it makes sense from a business perspective. It provides incentive to shop at REI. Sounds like someone in the chain wanted to push that, and made it a performance indicator (at least in one region, or store). I'd seriously argue that "most people who shop there are already members".

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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