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We’ve Effectively Taken A Pay Cut’: How Inflation Is Impacting Retail Workers

At the beginning of the year, a West Coast Target-based worker was excited to hear they would be getting a raise. The worker — – who uses they/them pronouns — has worked in retail for about five years, and couldn’t recall getting a raise at any of the other companies they’ve worked at. Their excitement evaporated, however, when they learned the raise was only $0.15. Thanks to decades-high inflation, the worker is finding it harder and harder to get by on Target wages, even with a small raise. But they are no longer able to afford all of their groceries on EBT, as they previously were able to. Inflation is crushing workers across all industries.

Retail Workers Are Organizing And Speaking Out

In a petition Indianapolis Target employee Andrew Stacy drafted, one of the key demands is for a minimum $17 per hour, but when Stacy and their coworker were posting the flyers in the break room and distributing them, they were caught. Management confiscated the flyers and human resources held one-on-one meetings with workers about working conditions and higher-ups at the location—a move that Stacy saw as an illegal effort to shut down organizing and find out more about the union activity. In response, they filed a National Labor Review Board complaint on Dec. 15. Prism has reached out to Target for comment on the concerns raised by workers as well as the complaint.

The New-Look Shopping Mall That Doesn’t Sell Stuff

Four-year-old Joris Niekus hops excitedly in front of a wall-sized flatscreen as his dad loads up an interactive version of Roald Dahl’s BFG (known as GVR in Dutch). Seconds later, face beaming, his digitised silhouette is bopping across the screen together with Dahl’s gangly giant. It’s just one of many experiences on offer at a new downtown development in the Dutch city of Groningen...

A Holiday Comeback For Toys ‘R’ Us?

For many years, Giovanna De La Rosa enjoyed working at Toys ‘R’ Us — especially during the holiday shopping season. “I loved bringing joy to families and to children,” she shared at a recent congressional hearing. “I watched so many of the local kids grow up over the years while shopping in our store.” De La Rosa’s 20-year career with Toys ‘R’ Us came to an abrupt end in 2018 when the bankrupt company shuttered all of its 700 U.S. outlets, leaving more than 30,000 employees jobless. Now Toys ‘R’ Us is trying to make a comeback.

Retail Workers Nationwide Are United For Respect

Toys ‘R’ Us workers won a crucial severance pay victory last year after the company closed its US stores. Private equity firms KKR, Bain, and Vornado had bought up the legendary toy store just a decade before, saddled the company with debt, and left the 33,000 laid-off employees without access to the millions they were owed in severance. But rather than letting private equity vultures enrich themselves on the backs of employees who’d been with the store for decades, workers fought back, taking creative actions across the country and pushing legislators and pension funds to get on board...

Sign Of Hope Or Worry? When The Dollar Store Comes To Town

On a “mission to save my neighborhood,” Burnell Cotlon, an Army veteran, built his Lower 9th Ward Market literally by hand, shingle by shingle. Today, his counter wall features cameo shots with Mark Zuckerberg. The launderette out back was donated by Ellen DeGeneres. There are shiny apples and $4.50 pork chop plates. His grocery store is seen as an oasis. But Mr. Cotlon’s gambit to help revive a stagnant Lower 9th Ward faces a new challenge: the Dollar General down the street. A boom in dollar stores across the United States since the Great Recession – three open every day on average – has provided both hope and despair in communities struggling for economic footholds.

European Chains Spur Further Grocery Consolidation, Squeezing Farmers, Workers, And Independent Businesses

European grocery chains are driving a new round of concentration in American food retail, as they race to buy up independent grocers or drive them out of business. In the most recent deal, Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Dutch-based Ahold-Delhaize, announced it will acquire Long Island supermarket chain, King Kullen, America’s first-ever supermarket. Traditionally-dominant conglomerates like Ahold-Delhaize feel pressure to acquire more stores due in part to price pressure from German discounters, Lidl and Aldi. These chains, which have grown rapidly across Europe over the past two decades, sell primarily private label products and offer less selection than traditional grocers to drive up purchasing volumes and lower prices.
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