Haggen fires Central Coast employees with disabilities

July 29, 2015

Haggen 2Grocery chain Haggen fired developmentally disabled employees as part of its recent string of Central Coast layoffs, a Santa Barbara-based advocacy organization alleges. [KEYT]

Earlier this year, Haggen a Washington-based company purchased 146 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores, some of which are located on the Central Coast. As Haggen has taken over operation of the stores, it has laid off dozens of Central Coast workers and reduced the hours of other employees. The company also raised grocery prices.

PathPoint, a Santa Barbara-based organization that helps disabled people find work, announced Tuesday that 17 of the Central Coast workers Haggen laid off were developmentally disabled clerks. Haggen fired 14 developmentally disabled clerks in Santa Barbara County and three in San Luis Obispo County.

Additionally, two developmentally disabled clerks lost their jobs in Ventura County.

PathPoint helped place the workers in positions at Albertsons and Vons before Haggen took over the grocery stores. One of the developmentally disabled clerks who was fired had been at the job for 18 years.

The advocacy organization is now attempting to find jobs for the newly unemployed disabled workers. An agreement exists, though, between Haggen and Albertsons and Vons that employees must wait a year before they can leave the Washington chain for work with the other two supermarkets.

A local union has already filed several grievances over the layoffs and work reductions.

Haggen Pacific Southwest CEO Bill Shaner responded with a statement about recent firings.

“To ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily cut back on staffing at our stores, with specific reductions varying by store. We value the contributions these employees have made and are committed to treating all employees respectfully and professionally through this transition.”


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61 Comments

  1. obispan says:

    One would think such an agreement between Paggan Foods and Vons/Albertsons would be just to prevent the latter from immediately cherry-picking back their best employees. But even laid-off workers know the business and the company and would generally be good candidates for any new Vons/Albertsons opportunities. The way Paggan Foods is going I think all other grocery stores are going to have staff up at least a little for the extra business.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. whatdouno says:

    Rich in MB, there’s a point you are missing: an unknown entity came into our small hometown and raised prices at a store that previously was known for low prices and friendly customer service. If they truly have the ability to sit out our lack of approval for two years they also had the ability to come in keep the prices low, earn our trust and gain our acceptance as the new kid on the block. Instead they came in like bulldozers prepared to steam roll us into compliance by accepting their 30% price increases. Albertsons, Von’s in Atascadero and Whole Foods all have high prices too now, in keeping up with the mentality of synergism. Doesn’t make it right or any better. We don’t eat meat products or dairy and have built a greenhouse and turned as much as possible of our 9,000 square foot yard into garden to combat this assault. I do shop at California Fresh now in Five Cities because they love our business and provide exceptional customer service. They have also created an environment that I feel happy shopping in. Although I live in Paso I am in South County once a week and find it much more pleasant and simple to shop all in one store, than to drive from Albertsons in Paso, Smart and Final and Von’s in Atascadero to get my shopping done.
    Their organic produce is cheaper than any where else. I am always asked if I am finding everything I need and always assured that if they don’t have it they will order it. It’s not just about the prices.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • obispan says:

      What are you bitching about? You got the Fart and Smile Extra in Paso. Rumor was they were looking at the Johnson Ave. Scolaris site for an SLO store before Albertsons now Paggan snagged it. At least we still have the little dump on Higuera Street and combined with the one-two F4L/TJ’s knockout grocery shopping punch leaves me no need to go to Paggan, Albertsons, or Vons. I do still have to go to Rite Aid for Berkeley Farms Milk now the F4L dropped Producers.

      (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  3. hijinks says:

    Only a PR genius could come up with claiming they are “committed to treating all employees respectfully and professionally” as an explanation for wholesale firings! Hypocrites.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  4. Slowerfaster says:

    Capitalism is a cancer. Eventually, it kills the host.

    (-13) 27 Total Votes - 7 up - 20 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      Am I incorrect, or aren’t you thriving under this cancerous form of government?

      (0) 16 Total Votes - 8 up - 8 down
    • kayaknut says:

      The same can be said for the government, it eventually kills it’s host, the taxpayer

      (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Boy it must kill you to get a paycheck from your employer now or past if your retired. I mean a business owner most likely would be a capitalist and to have to debase yourself for such a thing. You really should have just worked for him and did all your stuff in trade like the Indians.

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
  5. Ted Slanders says:

    Haggen is just following biblical principles for a change. We shouldn’t look down upon them in anyway because that is our Hebrew God’s position from heaven to do so.

    “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, saying, whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is broken footed, or broken handed, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.” (Leviticus 21: 16-21)

    Since Aaron is the brother of Moses, and descended from Abraham, Haggen seems to be taking a position to cover the bases just in case a disabled person is his descendant and the ramifications thereof as stipulated in the above passage regarding disabled people.

    Jesus warns us of these disabled of our God’s creation in the verse in question and we’re to heed His warnings so as not to invite sin upon ourselves. The bottom line is we’re not to be seen with any disabled person as our inspired word of our Hebrew God so states.

    Amen

    (-25) 35 Total Votes - 5 up - 30 down
    • 805code4 says:

      Sound advice Mr. Slanders. Its hard to respond to such upsetting news and changes in a manner consistent with Christ’s teachings. But, I still don’t plan paying Haggen with my patronage.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        805code4,

        The irony is that the passage in question is Christ’s teachings, when certain divisions of Christianity accept Him as God incarnate, therefore being the same God in both the Old and New Testament. There lies the rub.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
    • Sarboss says:

      Are you serious? Using a bad situation with the developmentally disabled to mock God/Jesus? Please save us from your atheistic rant, which isn’t even correct and/or true.
      Why don’t pick on someone who can fight back? Oops….. you did, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7).

      (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        Sarboss,

        If I may interject an embarrassing fact for you, in that you stated that I am not suppose to mock our Hebrew God? Then why did you mock him by stating that the LITERAL verse in question is not correct? Where do you get the authority to rewrite literal passages within the scriptures?

        I am sorry, but you are guilty of the following godly passage; “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4: 3)

        I will pray for you tonight in the hopes of you understanding LITERAL chapter and verse when it presents itself. You can thank me later.

        (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      There but for the grace of God (go YOU).

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  6. Gordo says:

    My sympathy is with the workers who hot caught in the middle of the Federal Trade Commission ruling that Albertsons had a monopoly.

    This mess was started by the FTC, another stellar achievment by non elected political appointees!

    (14) 26 Total Votes - 20 up - 6 down
  7. kayaknut says:

    Are Haggan’s workers in a union?

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  8. Rich in MB says:

    Does anyone else find the humor in people complaining about Haggen’s prices while at the same time they say they ship at Whole Foods…ha ha ha….talk about our of touch…its halarious.

    (-9) 19 Total Votes - 5 up - 14 down
    • tictac1 says:

      Economics usually isn’t that funny, it’s just supply and demand. Consumers generally seek the lowest price possible for a given commodity; thus, if Haggen sells whole milk for $4.39 while Albertson’s has the same product for $3.69, most consumers will buy that product at Albertson’s.

      But what if the product is only available at a single outlet? Einkorn wheat is not available anywhere in this county but Whole Foods. Now consumers do not have the luxury of price comparison, if they want that product. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both carry a lot of products that are simply not available at the bigger grocers, hence they can charge what they want, provided they do not price the product so high they drive consumers into another product that their competitors carry.

      See? Easy!

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down

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