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Readers Speak Out



Dear Tim,

Your recent article on the Whole Foods and Wild Oats merger was very interesting and informative. As a former Whole Foods executive, I can say that you failed to mention several key ingredients regarding Whole Foods.

They have developed what they call “team mindset” for all of their employees. You have to be voted onto a team in every department within the company, from a stock boy to an executive. However, with this philosophy, they, like other firms, have managed to keep out the unions in all the markets they serve and are not on the same playing field as chains like Kroger, Supervalu, Publix, Wegmans, and so on. By using their organic and natural foods hype, they pay their employees less, provide less in benefits (such as healthcare) and have kept the unions out of their stores.

Is that a fair practice to the other unionized markets they compete with? I do not think so!

At most Whole Foods locations they have in-store bakeries, restaurant-style foods, meat-prep areas, produce-prep areas and seafood-prep areas. Where are all these unions in the markets they serve and why should they receive any preferential treatment by the unions in those areas of their markets versus conventional supermarkets?

When the unions get wise to the facade that Whole Foods has established on them and their under-paid employees in these areas and treat them like any other food supermarket, only then will they be on equal footing in competing in these markets.

Once again thank you for this informative article.—D.J.

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