In the 80's and early 90's, many people stopped going to Safeway because there would be customers lined up to the back of the store, because there would only be 2 checkers at a time on duty.
King Soopers used to do 4 times the business the iSafeway does in Colorado, despite the fact that there are twice as many Safeways here. Now that King Soopers has also been unionized, and is owned by the same corporation that should even out a little more, (but not much I would expect). King Soopers still hires separate people to clean the latrines and trashcans than sack however.
Safeway has always been penny wise and dollar foolish, meaning they would not hire enough employees to save a buck, but it would end up costing them lots of business. In the orientation video, they had a new CEO there that said such memorable lines "Many people do not go to Safeway to do their serious shopping..." and "Safeway has totally redone it's whole way of doing business, one year we lost 6 billion dollars." I started breaking up when I heard him these things come out of his mouth, and when I told others they couldn't believe he actually said that in the orientation video.
And so when I went to work there in 2000 they were sure to always have enough checkers on duty, but many times did not hire enough sackers/courtesy clearks. Also to save more money, they would have all the baggers do the janitorial work such as floor sweeping, all trash duties, and toilet cleaning/scrubing. Whenever a sacker quit they would not replace it, and whenever one of the 17 year old/18 year old little girls would go home because they had a head-ache or stomach ache, or something else was sore, the weak management would let them. And would not call a replacement.
Many times I would be the only sacker there, and I would also be cleaning out the toilets. So I would be constantly called down to help sack, then asked to go back up to finish my "day duty." So they would have someone with questionably clean hands who has been in the shitpots also handling your fish and meat and other fine delicacies.
This happened a couple of times. And many more times, I would be doing heavy trash pick up with the juices running down my hands, then I would be asked to drop everything I was doing to come in and sack. Here I did not always have time to wash my hands so throughly.
I also paid $200 in union dues ($5 a week), but I was not able to get hired at another Safeway since then. I worked there from the time I was a senior in high school until I went away to college. I did not put in a 2 week written notice, but I did warn them well in advance I would be leaving, and why. I want my money back. If one of the *** head clerks there, tells you to pay union dues, wait until you are at least a checker first. Better yet, don't go work for them at all. You already know what shopping there is like.