Serious Lines to Work at Petworth’s New Safeway


Last week we learned Petworth’s new Safeway would be opening up June 27th. Yesterday afternoon a reader sent these photos:

“People are lining up from mid 1300 block Taylor to around the corner on Kansas for the safeway hiring office.”


26 Comment

  • Good for them, looking for work sucks and I wish them luck.

  • Wow I honestly had no idea the DC unemployment rate is so high:

    This picture really makes me rethink prejudices I have about DC residents (though never voice).

  • Good Luck everyone. A job is more than a paycheck.

    Here’s hoping we can raise the national minimum wage and these workers will be one step closer to a livable wage.

    • these workers will be part of a union and will make a living wage

      • Actually, that’s not true. According to UFCW local bargaining agreement posted on the US Dept of Labor site, the unions pay just a bit over minimum wage. They want other employers to be forces into a higher “living wage,” with unions exempt to encourage empolyer adoption of unions.

        • God forbid employers pay a living wage! *sarcasm* I’m pretty sure the DOL does not have the newly ratified collective bargaining agreement from 2013, which includes wage and benefit increases consistent with the current economy. Taking a look at the old CBA, one can see the benefits of union representation in terms of automatic wage increases based on length of service. You don’t have to jockey for a raise, rather, it is guaranteed courtesy of a CBA. You can’t have your wages reduced. Is it obvious that labor relations is my field of interest?

          • Is it ironic that Safeway is unionized and also one of the worst chain grocery stores in the city? I mean, did you see the health code violations they had a couple months ago- rat feces in the baked goods, rodent droppings on the cutting boards, etc…? No thanks, I’ll keep to HT where the cashiers are friendlier anyway.

          • it is the worst precisely because employees are automatically promoted regardless of merit or performance, thanks to the union.

          • CBAs guarantee wage increases. They don’t guarantee jobs for poor performers. The difference is that a process is in place for representation and discipline according to a contract. There’s transparency in decision-making and expectation from employees and management. “Anonymous” (so many of you), I don’t see the correlation between unionized workplace and poor performance. It’s unfortunate that is how your local Safeway runs. Either way, the CBA is there to ensure fairness, and while imperfect, I like the idea of giving people rights in the workplace. FYI, I work in management side of labor relations, so I know how this works.

          • This is not a reply to you, Mr. Labor Relations, but rather to those who replied to his comment.

            For hundreds–probably thousands–of years, workers around the world have fought for better working conditions. Unionization in the workplace brought with it the largest jump in the standard of living of the common man ever seen in history. To begrudge working people their hard-fought gains is very short-sighted.

            A collective bargaining agreement is a compromise between labor and management. If you blame unions for these automatic raises, you 100% must blame management equally. Some might say you should put more of the blame on management due to their stronger hand in labor negotiations.

            I am also interested in labor relations.

  • Awesome! I hope this means we have great staff as they can be selective. I’m just hoping the folks who went to Georgetown in the interim come back (skinny black guy with the mustache and great customer service).

    • If it’s guy I am thinking of, I ran into him the other day (He lives a couple of houses from the Prince of Petworth). I ask him if you was moving to the new store. As he is in management now, he said he wasn’t sure.

  • Agree with all the previous posters. There are a LOT of people who want to work and just need a chance. Making sure they’re paid enough to support themselves is critical; since Safeway is unionized that helps with the wage issues, but a decent minimum wage would benefit everyone.

    Also, as someone who shops often at a different Safeway, I hope that this one is adequately staffed. The workers tend to be really good at ours but there just aren’t enough people working to keep the lines low and the store organized.

    • Also, this Safeway is on the Metro and numerous bus routes, so people who need the jobs will actually be able to commute to and from work.

  • This picture breaks my heart a little, it makes me sad to know that so many people are looking for work. It also provides a reminder to me to be grateful for everything I have. Good luck to those applying!

    • You don’t need to be unemployed to apply for a job. Maybe some of these people in line just want to work under a collective bargaining agreement instead of being subject to the whims of his or her boss.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        Do you know if this Safeway is Union? I am AFGE.

        • I suspect it would be since UFCW Local 400 states they represent Safeway stores, which likely means they are the exclusive bargaining agent for Safeway. When it opens, you can always look for the union sticker on the front door of the store. It should say UFCW Local 400.

  • Really.. making folks stand in line 2014? Are they doing on the spot interviews? Can’t this stuff be done online?

    • I know that for the most most part both Safeway and HT do require people to apply online but I wonder if because they need so many at once that it may be easier to do this in person in this case. Saying that I think it is a pretty big deal (and not necessarily in a good way) to require people to apply online.

      There seems to be an assumption that doing that is easy for applicants which is not necessarily the case. Most don’t have computers or personal internet connections. Obviously using the library is doable – but may not be convenient and poses it’s own problems – limited computer availability, limited time on the computer, and technical computer issues on the user end that make the application process tricky. I know someone who was applying for HT and had to use the library and the length of the application made doing it in the allotted time difficult, there were some technology issues, and if I am not mistaken they had to fill out the whole thing at one time which was a problem if they ran out of time. Hopefully some of that was fixed but still, online applications aren’t easy for the applicants. Of course they are really for the benefit/convenience of the employer not the applicants.


    Safeway has long been committed to employing individuals with disabilities, including mental illnesses, and is demonstrating this commitment through their partnership with Green Door’s Supported Employment program. Safeway is conducting interviews at Green Door (1221 Taylor Street, NW) from 9 am – 12:30 pm on May 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. Both Green Door clients and the community at large are welcome to complete an online application and to attend the in-person interviews.

  • Best of luck to all applicants. Safeway seems to be a decent employer. I started shopping there as opposed to Harris Teeter, despite HT being more conveniently located near my home and work. I am a pro-union activist, you know. See:

  • Hopefully the new Safeway doesn’t make these long lines a habit.

  • dc’s walmart rejected more applicants than harvard.

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