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Post Info TOPIC: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


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Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


Personally I believe there is!

Over the years our members have complained bitterly about increased "work loads" applied on them due to department labor reductions. Many blame increases in "dollars per man hour or pounds per man hour. The complaints are universal and extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from North America to South America and it could be world wide as it applies to meat departments. Maybe its time for meat cutters around the world to put down your knives, step back from the cutting table and read The Fair Labor Standards Act. But before I  get into this lets take a look around our place of employment.

The operating meat department (not a Walmart meat department) has a mandate. That mandate is governed on what we all know "dollars per man hour", or some form of it. With no regards too: An environment that is hostile due to refrigeration, noise, dampness, equipment operations and knives, lots of knives. Above average hot water must be used for sanitation purposes including all kinds of chemicals. Heavy lifting is also the norm.  The potential for injury is higher in the meat department than any other department. But despite these issues management stands by "The Mandate".

No doubt there are hourly modifications in other departments like grocery, produce, bakery, prepared foods, deli, floral and other related departments, however, nothing compares with the rigid-standards set for the meat departments. Most savvy store manager will agree that they must be careful about cutting to much labor hours in 3 departments; deli, prepared foods, and Check Out! Yes, I consider Check Out as its own department. I call them money-handlers. Now in this regard is where I bring in "Fair Labor Standards Act".

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.

The law has many twist and turns however in its simplest form and for this discussion;  hourly workers must get paid overtime pay after 40 hours. In legal terms; Hourly employees and some salaried employees are nonexempt workers, which means they are entitled to overtime. So why do I feel that meat departments and meat cutters are being discriminated against? Because of the "The Hourly Increase Workload".

So many men and women have left our trade, you can read it hear any day of the week from cutters around the globe. They left our trade because of " Workload Abuse" and all of the above mentioned operational duties that are required of an meat department employee.

Now lets look at this from upper managements point of view just to be fair and balanced. If the demand for meat products and services increases, the company has a few options to accommodate the surge in business. Hiring additional staff, whether permanent or temporary, but that can be costly, or cut back on services which can loose customers, or pay overtime to keep everything in sink, but that hits the bottom line. "Or just simply increase the Work Load" and try to stay within the Labor and Employment Laws. Personally, I feel many companies are operating in the "gray-area" without being checked on this by FLSA. Increasing the workload for a salaried worker doesn't increase the pay -- salaried workers earn the same fixed rate, regardless of how many hours it takes to complete their duties.

Hourly employees and some salaried employees are nonexempt workers, which means they are entitled to overtime. The FLSA requires that employers pay nonexempt employees one and a half times their regular hourly rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Salaried workers who are nonexempt are the ones who perform duties that don't require independent judgment and jobs that aren't directly connected to the management of the company. Before you increase a nonexempt employee's workload, companies should check  state law to determine whether it differs from the federal law. Many states have their own overtime regulations; when the state law differs from the federal law, employers must pay the higher of the two. For example, California law mandates paying one and a half times the employee's hourly rate when he works more than eight hours in a day. If he works more than 12 hours in one day, he's entitled to double time. In Kentucky, workers must be paid overtime after the sixth day of work in a week.

I know this sounds harsh but after hearing so many stories from members concerning heavy work loads it certainly seems that management is putting bottom line before the health and welfare of meat department employees.

I WOULD APPRECAITE ANY TYPE FEEDBACK ON MY TOPIC.

 

 



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Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


It certainly looks that way. There are not many fully staffed meat departments anymore. Man power has been minimized and work load is divided among a smaller number of employees I remember when I was taking care of the meat dept, lunch meat on Aisle 1 and the seafood dept at the same time, and management was asking me what the big deal was. Just thankful we weren't cutting hanging beef at that point.

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


My department averages $11,000 in sales a week. I'm the only full time employee, the only meat cutter, I do all the ordering, and process all of the invoices, etc... I can relate to people who have heavy workloads.

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


Hi Youngthrasher9, that is pretty impressive. Are you self-service or service counter? Do you carry a full variety of beef, pork, poultry? Thanks for sharing. 



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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


Yes, we carry a fairly full selection. The beef, pork, and lamb are all in the service counter (I also serve). There's a couple chicken items as well. We also have a large selection of packaged sausages, charcuterie, and poultry items etc... in a self service case that I also maintain. We also have a six foot seafood case (not a fan).

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


Are you on a boxed beef? What about the lamb and pork. Do you cut it fresh or is it pre-packaged? Same thing with chickens, pre packed or do you use fresh whole birds?

Same thing with your fish counter; are you buying pre-packaged fillets and pre-cooked seafood or is it a fresh fish counter? 

 

Thanks



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Phil ( coalcracker ) Verduce

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


Boxed primals, I do the cutting. Pork, lamb and beef. I'm starting whole pig processing next week, which I'm actually excited about because I haven't been able to cut a whole animal recently since I started at this store. The fish comes in filets which in the case of salmon and other large fish, I cut into steaks. The chicken comes in pre packed. I do quite a few custom orders a week as well. Custom grinds (i.e. extra lean ground beef, specific muscle grinds...etc), specialty steaks, culture specific cuts, etc...

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


youngthrasher9 wrote:

Boxed primals, I do the cutting. Pork, lamb and beef. I'm starting whole pig processing next week, which I'm actually excited about because I haven't been able to cut a whole animal recently since I started at this store. The fish comes in filets which in the case of salmon and other large fish, I cut into steaks. The chicken comes in pre packed. I do quite a few custom orders a week as well. Custom grinds (i.e. extra lean ground beef, specific muscle grinds...etc), specialty steaks, culture specific cuts, etc...


 All I can say is "Wow". This is a tremendous amount of work and perseverance. I hope you have a least one helper to either work the counter or wrap for you. I am going to guess at the total volume of your store based on the $11,000 in meat sales. Tell me if I am in the ball-bark at around $82,000 per week. However if you are not counting service deli or self-service deli in the $11,000 and you ad those sales in . That would drop your total store sales  down to about $74,000. 



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Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


I can't remember off the top of my head, but it's quite a bit more than that, tbh. Our deli is run like a buffet style restaurant on one end and a full service deli on the other, the sales volume of that department easily exceeds 4x mine. Our health and beauty department is also very very high in sales volume (HUGE markup on that stuff). My department makes the second least overall, out of 6 departments. I'm making progress on changing that, every day.

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RE: Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


I recently had this conversation with the owner of the store I work at. It's a small store and me and him have a pretty good relationship. I explained to him that I unload trucks , out up stock, work Blackstock, and then turn around and fill a meat case that sales close to 14,000 fresh meat a week. He is a old school meat cutter so he got it. One thing I had to do was look at myself though I quit doing a lot of the stuff I use to do when I took over a pass poor meat department 4 years ago. I pretty much told my meat wrapper that if he wraps and cleans I will take care of everything else. I know I'm rambling on but there is a big work load Discrimination. The manager does "computer work" and unloads vendors with the fork lift. The Asst.Manager is always late and takes a bunch of smoke breaks and relys on others to do her Department. I have decided to buck down and become a so called Bad Ass. I have been there the longest besides the store manager and Asst.Manager and I work my ass off because at the end of the day I may be tired and sore but screw it no one can talk about me not working

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Is There Work Load Discrimination In Meat Departments?


I like working for Uncle Sam. We sell about $40000 per week and have 8 people. 6 full time 1 32hr and 1 24hr. We've got it made, average salary about $24 per hour. Every other place sucked for hours as above mentioned.







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