Publix Cuts Pay for Associates

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May 14, 2002
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A 50-cent-per-hour cut in hourly pay scales is affecting roughly 10 percent of Publix stores according to a report on the BizJournal.com website. The cutbacks, which took effect May 1, adjust the scale downward for about 79 stores, including 18 in South Florida.

The announcement is just business as usual according to Publix officials. “Each year we evaluate our pay and benefit issues in order to remain competitive,” spokesman Lee Brunson says.

Some industry watchers speculate that the move might signal sharper competitive practices in some Florida markets. Others guess that the cutback paves the way for a much-rumored sale of the grocery chain. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union officials suggest that the announcement could open the door to organization in the 697-store chain.

Moderator Comment: What do you think is behind Publix’
hourly wage cut? Will this move improve or hurt the competitive position of
the chain?

Perhaps, Safeway or some other chain is finally going
to buy Publix. We’re not ready to bet on that just yet. We, like everyone else,
have heard the rumors before. The wage cut is perplexing though from the outside
looking in. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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