Take These Jobs and Shove Them!

Local politicos and the Chamber of Commerce are first to take credit when a company moves to Boise with JOBS! What about when business LEAVES town?

Will they also take the blame now that Supervalu has announced about 400 jobs will be cut in Boise as a result of the Albertson’s take over? Will those legislators, ex- Guv Dirk and Team Dave admit they got snookered with the “incentives” they offered to Albertson’s?

Truth is, business is business and the bottom line is the bottom line. Business comes and goes based on the money. The efforts of Team Dave and the Chamber may have helped Northwest Airlines with ticket sales when the delegation went back to Minneapolis for “face time” with the Supervalu CEO, but it did nothing to stop the sucking sound when local jobs went down the drain.

Joe, we miss ya!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. At least the Albertson’s jobs are going to Minnesota, and not to Bombay!

    EDITOR NOTE–Bikeboy, you are to be commended for your positive outlook. I guess the jobs Micron created in Virginia after we gave them tax breaks are better than the ones they created in the two factories in Asia as well. At least we were “on the list.” Kinda like the BCS list.

  2. This shouldn`t come as a surprise. Anytime one company takes over another there is always some jobs lost. However our politicos at the city county and state levels need to quit giving away the store as inticements. We always are the losers in deals of this nature.These are things to think about when deciding at the polls who to vote for and I do hope you all get out and VOTE.

  3. But if the “local politicos and the Chamber of Commerce” would leave town, bet we’d *all* want to take credit!

    Right on, Bonnie: Vote early and often!

  4. Bikeboy and Bonnie are right on.

    I was up there for part of the debate and remember all too well the earnest words of those pushing for the tax giveaway.

    They screeched and howled!! If we don’t give away more of our tax base, Albertsons will leave!!!

    The stuffed suits were practically in tears. They wanted everyone to envision a world without the most expensive groceries and Idaho microchips.

    This election will define Idaho for years to come. This election isn’t about gays, immigrants or abortion. This election is about our future and, more importantly, the future for our kids. This one is all about moving Idaho ahead or staying in a dark, cold place that breeds stupidity on a massive scale.

  5. I don’t believe business has to be just business. But as long as the bottom line* is the one and only thing that is valued in our society and by reflection, in business, then we’d all better be prepared to be global vagabonds or self employed.
    *short term profit and pay out for shareholders

    The problem with this system is the continuous boom and bust that is characteristic of Western development. This is not a system that creates stable and productive communities. The bottom line is an inadequate equation to express the true cost and benefits of commercial endeavors.

    What is the bottom line for example, when a corporation extracts profits from the system and leaves a legacy of corruption (Enron, WorldCom)? What is the bottom line when industry produces profits for shareholders and pollution for taxpayers (check the many EPA cleanup sites in Idaho)? What is the bottom line when companies pay out dividends to shareholders and bonuses to executives, but fails to live up to pension obligations (the steel industry)?

    We must demand more from our business community and more from ourselves as consumers and investors. The officials that bend over backwards to accommodate businesses that play coy with tax breaks and incentives must be held accountable. But we as citizens must also make mindful decisions about how we spend our money and our time. If we simply embrace the bottom line*, then the bottom is exactly where many of us will end up.

    I like what Gandhi was said to identify as the modern seven deadly sins:

    Wealth without Work
    Pleasure without Conscience
    Science without Humanity
    Knowledge without Character
    Politics without Principle
    Commerce without Morality
    Worship without Sacrifice

    For me, my business life must be an extension of my personal values. If we honor and support community, our business perspective has to be rooted in a long term vision for what we want our communities to look like years down the road, not just what will make a buck or be most “cost effective” in the short term.

    The facilitation of the sale of Albertson’s by our elected officials is certainly nothing new. That it ends up as a net loss for the community and taxpayers is also no surprise. This is also just one of the reasons I’ll be voting for Democrats next Tuesday. The candidates running this year clearly have a more community oriented and long term vision for Idaho.

    Now I know some people consider the Republicans more supportive of business, but I’d say look at the data and you’d see the benefit going to a few big recipients, and that the overall benefits have not been extended to smaller and locally owned businesses in kind.

    Example: Glazed Over Donuts opened in downtown Boise (I don’t remember the dates) This was a locally owned company that made their donuts from potato flour, is that Idaho or what? These were really good donuts, too good, dangerously good, perfect essence of simple glazed donut good. Their business really seemed to be taking off when Krispy Kreme rolled into town on a red carpet put out by none other than Governor Dirk Kempthorne, spouting “Buy Idaho”. Now I ask ya, what would be better in the long term for the community? Another national chain on the corner, or a local company with a locally unique product? (anyone have more info on this I’m curious)

    I guess if all we want is national chains and warehouse stores, so that we can’t distinguish Boise from Houston or Sacramento, then the status quo is the way to go. If all we expect from our Governor is to hawk french fries to Taiwan (from a company that has systematically abandoned its’ holdings in Idaho), then the GOP choke hold should remain in the Statehouse.

    I’m hoping for something more.

    This is also why I’m voting for Paul Woods for Ada County Commissioner. I like and respect Sharon, and think she gets a bum rap from the Republicans because she won’t play ball with the good old boys and girls. I have always found her to be approachable and respectful, and have not seen her to deserve a reputation of being, well, less than friendly. But as with most Libertarians and Republicans, I find a lack of community oriented thinking and long term vision for the future of our neighborhoods. I’m sure Sharon will do a good job if elected, but I think Paul will do better.

    The results of the recent Idaho Business Review/KTVB News Group poll that showed Jerry Brady with a slight lead over Butch Otter, also reflect what I think are some similar views for this race. While more respondents viewed Otter as very or somewhat supportive of business than Brady (61% to 56%), the same group were inclined to choose Brady for Governor (41% to 36%). Seems to me these folks are recognizing that there’s more to the job than watching the bottom line.

    poll results here:

    Gee, didn’t mean to make this so long, just get all fired up when my home town gets the corporate shaft, again.
    Thanks for reading. Early vote Monday or show up on Tuesday!

  6. Gee Idagreen, that was a long way to go for a simple political endorsement. In addition, do you REALLY think a democratic delegation could have kept this from happening?
    First, no one has “lost” their job. As I understand it, every one of those people have a job. It has been moved to Wisconsin.

    Where does it say that a company should never transfer any of their employees. Many companies regularly transfer their employees. And, if you haven’t noticed, the affected employees at the corporate headquarters are pretty transient to start with.

    Second, where does it say that a company has to do “the bidding” of the community? If I were in a position of authority, and I am, and the community leaders came to me to tell me what I should, or shouldn’t, do with my company, they would be shown the door in very short order.

    Third, where did our “leaders” get off trying to buy a company’s commitment to stay here. I would be willing to wager large that every one of them knew a certain number of employees were headed out and they were just looking for “some ink” to tell the rest of us how good of a job they did.

    Lastly, we will be expanding our factory effort to the Boise area in the next couple of years. When that happens, the local politicos will line up for the “photo-op” and be handing us all kinds of incentives to implement the decision to locate in Boise long after we had decided to come here anyway. And when that happens, I will accept them, give them their “photo-op” and pretend that it was their efforts that convinced us to come here. Wouldn’t you as well?

  7. The jobs in question are being moved to Minneapolis, which I believe is in Minnesota, not Wisconsin.

    When did I say companies had no right to transfer jobs or that they must do “the bidding” of the community. Whom are you quoting? A business has the right to operate within the law, which does not always require doing the right thing. Where does it say that doing the right thing may not be good for business in the long term?

    My argument is that business decisions must not be based solely on short term profits and stock considerations, but should be based also on long term benefit to the community, of which we are all a part whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

    I do not believe a Democratic delegation, in and of itself, could necessarily solve their way out of a wet paper bag, any more than any other party. I said that, this year, the Democrats have presented the candidates that have the kind of long term vision and value for community that I consider essential in addressing the critical problems we all face. For me, the GOP only offers and defends, as do you, the business as usual, only consider the bottom line attitude that is inadequate for the 21st century.

    As for your being in “a position of authority” (your words), I guess I see a difference between authority and leadership. An authoritarian might show someone the door in short order when met with conflict, a leader would find them a chair and sit down to solve the problem. It’s exactly your my way or the highway attitude that has left us in the crunch for directing sustainable economic development.

    Pose for a photo-op with the poseurs? I prefer candid shots, but I’d like to think I’d be like the new Miss Idaho and and avoid such associations, as she has with Jim Risch. I’d hate to end up on someone’s campaign literature later on, especially a poseur.

  8. In addition to voting every two years why not do what really matters and “vote with your wallet.” It may not show immediate results in the grocery industry but it will certainly help the neighborhood coffee shop compete with Starbucks.

  9. I’ve shopped at Albertson’s for years and although they’re a bit pricey I’ve noticed how hard their employee’s work and how nice they are to customers. At the same time I know that management is not paying them as they deserve or providing them with the benefits they deserve.

    The bus drivers at valley transit have been dealing with a similar situation for years- they work 13 hour days and often in split-shifts. Their so-called union does not allow them to strike and provides the worst worker protection rules I’ve witnessed in a long time.

    Yes, Team Dave and our chamber of commerce love to whoop it up when a new business moves to town but are strangely quiet about the majority of minimum wage jobs with no benefits we have in Boise. We, the people, can affect this greedy system… do not shop at stores or use the services of businesses that treat their employees like the above.

    A week of staying away from them will downtrend their profits. Get involved, invite unions into town, let your local and State well-heeled politicos ( at taxpayer expense) know that their gone if they don’t change the financial/job scene from one of wage-slavery to decent pay and benefits for decent work.As Americans ,we can still change things but we must get involved, vote and let our politicians know we are watching their every move to impoverish the American worker. Many Americans have fought and died for our civil liberties and financial equality… let us learn from their bravery and show it by our actions.

  10. Cyclops and Idagreen both make sense. They both make LOGICAL arguments which seem to say local government efforts don’t really do much to get business to stay or relocate.

    Different perspectives with similar conclusions. The GUARDIAN sure does attract interesting readers.

    If a company can’t make it here playing by the same rules as anyone else, they probably aren’t worth the risk of a public investment.

  11. Your right Joe in that what makes(and has made) Albertson’s through the years are their people. But that can be said for any successful business. Sure, an entrepeneur can have a great idea, but without the people to implement that idea, it goes nowhere.

    Inviting unions doesn’t work.(Your own example of the transit drivers bears that out.)
    What the general public needs to realize is that politicians and bureaucrats have zero capability to influence business.(Except for those “incentives” mentioned)
    It is incumbent on the employer to provide the best possible conditions of employment, with the best benefit package that can be offered. This is what will keep valued employees when Fed-Ex comes to town and pays 15 Bucks an hour to sweep the floors.

    What government can provide is a well educated labor pool. Tradesmen are always at a premium for manufacturing facilities. It is not always important that the skills are current, but the ability to be trained is critical.

    I agree that if an employer doesn’t do well by his employees, the community certainly has the ability to not support such a business.

  12. My neighbor works for a company whose employees work at Alberson’s Corporate Office. The job loss is much larger than the 400 stated in the news as these “non-employees” are also loosing their jobs – about 600 Boise citizens in addition to the 400 who are on the Alberson’s roles.

    Well, the tax base just got smaller so look forward to increased taxes for the folks still employed. Oh, and the taxes will never go down for us…as we are not the top three per cent.

  13. Cyclops, Why would you perpetuate a lie? We would appreciate an honest business coming to town not another user of the people. Stating your intentions then living by them could be good for your business. We here have heard all the stories already.

  14. Any support a company gets in this state has absolutely nothing to do with how they treat their employees. When was the last time you asked anyone you do business with how they were treated and then turned around and acted on the information, good or bad????

    The fact is, employers in this state have lobbied sucessfully to eliminate workplace protections of all kinds for employees. I daresay the vast majority of employers in this valley would do anything they could to undercut their own employees.

    Sure there are notable exceptions, but for the most part employees are just a necessary evil. Many employers do whatever they can to avoid paying a decent wage, providing health care or pensions.

    Somewhere along the line, working people in this state lost sight of the fact that employees lease their expertise or muscle to the employer so that employer can sucessfully run their business. Too many employers have convinced working people they are “lucky to have a job” in order to keep them in their place.

    HA-HA! With such low unemployment, thanks in large part to super crappy service sector jobs, people will get tired of working two or even three of those crappy jobs and start leaving for greener pastures and higher pay.

    The incentives to bring business to this state is based on taxes and cheap labor. Wow, that sure is something to hang your hat on.

  15. Inviting Unions to your workplace is a good idea, espcially for those poeple in Bangladesh, and Bejing that will benefit from the jobs unrealistic unions drive overseas, not to mention the jobs unions create by increasing demand for technology solutions to further replace jobs.

    Notice I said unrealistic unions… many instances Unions have played a critical role in improving job safety and removing the concept of psuedo-indentured servitiude when all of your paycheck was spent at the company store to barely sustain your family….anybody saying WalMart?

    But just as many companies are to blame for selling out employees and communities for short-term unsustainable profits, many Unions sell out the union members and community to seek unrealistic pay, schedules and benefits for work the employee’s education and skill set do not naturally create, hence the artificial way of self-promotion….unionize.

  16. Bushbasher(that already exposes your mindset), would you kindly elaborate on the “lie”? It’s surely true that in 1963 someone came to town to take advantage of the “poor hicks” from BoiZe. Does that mean that the community forever condemns anyone who opens a manufacturing business here? I certainly would hope not.

    To answer your question Feris B, it was last Thursday. We were made aware of an investor in our complex in Indiana who was treating his sales staff poorly. When we discussed it with him he said that was his business, not ours. I agreed with him and then had a check cut for 100 large because we weren’t comfortable with his management “style”.
    We are coming to BoiSe strictly for three simple reasons.

    One, it is the best place I have found in this country to raise a family.
    Two, it is where I have lived for 35 years.
    Third, Boise is blessed with a young-to-middle age labor force that wants to stay here.

  17. 35 years does not a native make.
    however, if yur not driving an suv I’m glad yur here.

  18. Just remember one phrase (three words): international predatory capitalism.

    There will be more and more of this until the whole world is like the third world countries of today. It started in the 1960s and continues to this date.

    Hang on to your loved ones as the quarterly reports get crazier.

  19. Cyclops, you crack me up!

    OOOOHHHHH! 100 large. Wow. Gee. Boy oh boy.

    Some research on this area could have served you well. The far right talking points aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

    The department of Commerce and Labor struggle to paint pretty lips on the oinker that are average jobs around here.

    I could go on, but I gotta go cut a check for ten small at the local pizza joint.

  20. I’m glad I can supply your “comic relief” Ferris.

    Unfortunately I don’t find humor in your cynical attitude. You sadden me. You must be so very unhappy. Maybe you have found yourself in a room full of horse poop. Rather than be so upset about it, why don’t you start looking for that pony that must be in there somewhere. You seem to typify the problems we face as a community. Rather than sit on the sidelines complaining about what is, roll up your sleeves and get into the game.

  21. I love Albertson’s, they take an item that usually costs 79 cents, and sell it 10 for $10….what a bargain…I appreciate their high opinion of my common sense.

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