LABJ FORUM – Making Ends Meet
The supermarket and transit job actions have struck at two of the region’s core necessities. All Angelenos share an interest in getting around town and shopping, yet the impact of these actions is not universally felt. So the Business Journal asks:
How has your life been affected by the region’s labor actions?
Beverly Hills Housekeeping
We have three vehicles we lease for our company, and we had to order five sedans to lease to get our employees out to job sites. That’s an extra $2,000 a month, and we have to keep them for a minimum of three months. I had to hire drivers and the price of gas is so high right now. We employ over 80 housekeepers, nannies and janitors, and 95 percent of our staff uses public transportation. I’m in total support of MTA employees, but I never thought a strike would have an effect on me or my business like this.
My life hasn’t been affected (by the supermarket strike) because I only shop at Gelson’s and Trader Joe’s. I certainly empathize and wish I could do more to show my support but I can’t stop shopping where I never shopped. As far as the buses go, I haven’t seen any worse traffic, but since I work out of my home, I usually travel at off hours.
The supermarket strike hasn’t affected me any differently than most folks. The Ralphs I shop at has people picketing outside, and I don’t like to cross the picket lines unless I really have to get something. I crossed the picket lines to go shopping once. Around here, at the Ralphs on Barrington and Olympic, the guys can be intimidating. One time they stood in middle of the driveway and blocked the entrance. I could’ve honked or something, but I just thought, “well maybe not,” and left. I’m buying things at the 7-Eleven across the street. I’m a bachelor with a simple life, I don’t cook, I mostly eat out.
Home Care Domestic Service
A lot of the maids use the bus to go clean houses, and right now they can’t go. I have 20 regular maids and almost 200 people waiting for job. The applicants have to walk to the office, some actually walked 1 1/2 hours. The strike is costing us. I lose the customers for the daily work. Yes, were losing money, but I wouldn’t say it’s serious. It’s the people who need the jobs that are suffering.
I have occasionally taken public transit to work, so now I don’t have that option. Luckily, I have a car. I tend to shop at the major chains as little as possible. The non-chain stores have been a little more crowded since the strike started, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m pretty flexible, so I think I can wait them out.
Antelope Valley College
We’re all looking for other places to purchase our food. Sometimes when we go to the small markets, there’s not enough product on the shelves. I haven’t noticed any difference in the traffic. We have a different transportation system around here, and I don’t know of anyone here that uses the MTA, so we really haven’t been affected by it.