Would you cross a supermarket picket line as a customer?

The employees of several major supermarket chains in the area may go on strike soon. Don’t know if they’ll picket, but if they did, would you still shop at those stores? How far out of your way would you go not to? What other factors come into play for you?

My husband benefits greatly from union representation, so we’d be obligated to honor the picket line of another union. Despite being country people, we have a lot of options for groceries, so I imagine we would just have to put a little extra thought into stocking the pantry. It would definitely not be a significant inconvenience.

No, unless they are picketing for some reason like “they employ gay people here”.

Based on no additional information, I’d respect it. I’m sure that there are grocery unions that I wouldn’t respect enough, or particular grocery stores whose employees I wouldn’t support joining a union, but in general, I wouldn’t cross the picket line.

I respect union lines.
Even if they get the business shut down and re-opened under a different name the following year (Liquor Barn)

I would never pay attention to a picket line unless I agreed with their complaints. I don’t see that anyone has an obligation unless you are a member of that union.
Certainly if I worked there or normally shopped and wasn’t a union member I’d continue as before.

I normally don’t have anything against unions, except grocery stores. I am thoroughly convinced that having unions at a grocery store is a terrible idea. The reason being, that don’t give to shits about you as a customer. They know their job is safe so why should they be bothered to be nice to you?

I’ve never been spoken more rudely to than from employees at a grocery store. (Kroger)

ETA: The Kroger I go to, there are some cashiers there that I absoluetly love. But there are some real jerks there too.


Nope, wouldn’t cross it.

Hell yes I’d cross it.

I’m a union member. I don’t like unions.

I would find out from them the issue and then decide accordingly.

They are picketing to raise my prices. So, yeah.

I would cross if I thought they were being unreasonable. Otherwise, no.

I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll find out if they go through with it. It is all the stores I normally shop at, except Target, but they have limited selection so I wouldn’t want to do all of my shopping there.

If they picket, is it actually right on the property, where you’d physically have to walk through the picket line? Because it doesn’t seem like that would be allowed.

I’d find out what the issue was, and decide from there.

As a semi-aside, last year there was a group of guys with a banner that said “such-and-such construction company UNFAIR” downtown, where I often passed them. I couldn’t see why they were where they were, since they didn’t seem to be anywhere near a construction site. One time I stopped and asked one of them what the issue was, and he said that they weren’t allowed to tell me. Yeah, you’re not going to get much sympathy from me that way.

I would, like most people, make a totally arbitrary, uninformed decision and act on that.

I would ignore the picket line, and I don’t care what the complaints are. Unions were a good idea whose time has passed.
No one is forced to work anywhere in particular.

That brings up a good point. To all that people who jumped in and said they wouldn’t cross the line, would you bother to find out why their picketing?

A few years ago there was ‘picketing’ outside of a hotel being built. Not so much picketing as it was just two or three guys sort of half assed holding up signs, but the signs said “[Hotel] doesn’t hire local workers” There was a part of me that wanted to ask them if they put in a bid, which I’m sure they did, and I’m sure it was higher, but then my next question/statement would me…“So, I assume you don’t put in any bids outside of Milwaukee (or South Eastern Wisconsin) right?” Just to see if I get a quizzical look. I mean, if they’re mad because the hotel hired non-local workers then I think it’s fair to infer that this company only works locally and wouldn’t dare do a job outside of the area, right?
Honestly, I’m guessing they were either mad about losing the job and/or their union contracts state that if they stand out there and picket they still get paid or something like that…but it just seemed silly, that’s a line I wouldn’t have a problem crossing.
Also, they should keep in mind (not that it helps them directly, but they are so concerned about the local economy) that for the two months these guys were putting up the hotel, they’re staying in our hotels, spending money at our restaurants and bars and strip clubs (across the street), shopping at our grocery stores, using our gas stations, going to our baseball stadium…so they still pumped some money into our economy.

I would be idly curious, and try to find out what the issues are. If they were issues that pinged my Recreational Outrage meter, I might avoid the place for a while until I didn’t really care any more.

I too think that unions were fantastic once upon a time, but now that we’ve got agencies in place for workplace safety (including harassment), maximum hours and minimum pay, I don’t see the point. Well, I do see the point, which is to keep trying to get better Stuff for their members and keep collecting dues, but I don’t see the need for it; it seems like the unions are becoming the Bourgeoisie.

This particular possible-strike is over pay and benefits, so it’s hard to know how justified it is. I seriously doubt they get less than most comparable retail jobs though, so I’m not sure what makes them special.

One thing I read is that they were eligible for health insurance if they worked 16 hours a week and now that’s being changed to 30 hours a week. Well, not getting insurance with that number of hours is hardly unusual, and many of them with low hours would probably qualify for and be better off on Medicaid anyway.