From: "Reform 588" <>
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005

Doug Slaydon Fired
Grievance Phone Conference Set For 8 December 2005

"The day after our very successful trip to Modesto, with five of us getting thirty contact cards signed, I found myself "suspended/pending investigation" for saying "crap" on my way out to the sales floor."
We all expected them do this and it happened.  Doug Slaydon was suspended 10 November 2005 and then terminated by a Safeway District manager for saying the word "crap"at work.
It is suspicious to say the least that Bernard Hardy; Safeway's Retail Operations Director was in on the firing.  In reading Doug's statement it appears that they were setting him up for a customer service termination with a set up customer when he was overheard saying the word crap.
A grievance was filed the next day.  On Safeway's end, Penny Shumacher handles the grievance, her boss is Carl Ramnitz and his boss is Frank Jorgensen.  Frank Jorgensen negotiates for Safeway.  He is the guy that cuts the deals with Local 588 and Safeway. He negotiates with Jacques and Jack Loveall.
Franks boss is Steve Burd.  He reports to Burd during negotiations.  Does the word collusion draw a good picture for you?  It does for me.  This thing stinks.  Having one of Safeway’s highest officers in the store to do Doug’s termination sure makes one think about all the back channel maneuvering that is going on to keep things business as usual.
Two weeks prior to his termination Doug met with Shawn Barkley, UFCW International Director for our region.  He was fired two weeks later. Barkley said that "this is politics".  
Reforming 588 is the key to changing the business as usual crap that is taking us down.  The big boys know this.

Statement from Doug Slaydon:
Termination/Suspension November 10, 2005

Safeway Store #1127
2401 Waterman Blvd.
Fairfield CA 94585

3:30PM Jason G. (assistant manager) comes into the meat dept. (I am at the block cutting) and tells me Bernard Hardy (Retail Operations)is in the area. I said I knew it must be serious for him to come back to the meat dept.

5:00PM Jason G. comes into the dept again (I am at the block cutting) says a customer wants a fresh cut of top sirloin, and Bernard is outside. I get a couple packages for the customer and we both go out toward the sales floor. Just outside the door I don’t see Bernard (thinking Jason was just pulling my leg) and say to Jason “You’re full of crap” and then take the packages to the customer (white male, blond hair, approximately 35 years old) and say something like "Hello, here you go, thank you" and go back into the cutting room and back to my work.

A few minutes later Bernard comes into the cutting room with Jason in tow and says, "You told that customer he was full of crap". I responded, “I did not, I was talking to Jason!" Bernard says the customer wants a fresh cut of top sirloin and shows me a package of top round. I look at the package in his hand and I say "That's top round". He says something short like, "Are you going to get it or do I have to cut it myself?"

So I go get a COUPLE MORE packages of top sirloin, wrap them, and hand them to Bernard. Then I go outside again and the customer and Bernard are still talking and I address the customer "I don’t know what just transpired here, but I just wanted to let you know that I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to that guy (pointing to Jason)". Bernard immediately puts his hand between us with this fake grin on his face and says "It’s alright, everything’s taken care of".

I have known Jason G. for several years and we are on familiar terms. Jason is somewhat of a prankster, so my response to him wasn’t out of character, and I certainly didn't make the comment out of anger or disrespect towards him.

5:20PM Jessica Thrash (seafood clerk) comes into the meat cutting room (I am still at the block cutting) tells me that the customer approached her saying “He just told those guys they were full of shit" Jessica says "Are you sure?" He says "I’m going to go tell them (pointing to Bernard)".

6:00PM Jason G. calls me up to the office, Mellisa is there as a witness. Jason hands he a "Employee Warning Notice" that reads:

“ On October 10th at approximately 5PM I informed you that a customer wanted a newer package of meat. You brought the product to the customer and then stated, "He is full of shit’ to the customer. Customer approached Bernard and repeated what you had said. Bernard and myself went into the meat room to ask you about this incident. You stated, "Yeah I said that, but I was talking to Jason.’ This is inappropriate and unacceptable. You are suspended pending an investigation of this matter."

I said to Jason, "I didn’t say "shit’ and you have the time-line all wrong, you need to change this!" Jason scratched out “shit" and wrote “crap" above. Then I said “You need to rewrite this!"Jason took a fresh “Employee Warning Notice" and wrote:

“On Oct. 10th, 2005 at approx. 5PM I informed you that a customer wanted a new package of meat. You got the product for the customer and followed me to the customer. I turned away and you said "You are full of crap” and a customer overheard you. Customer approached Bernard and repeated what you had said. Bernard and myself went into the meat room to ask you about this incident. You stated, “Yeah, I said that, but I was talking to Jason.” This is inappropriate and unacceptable. You are suspended pending an investigation of this matter.”

I asked Jason, “What are the charges, to suspend me immediately?” He said he didn’t know, that he was just following orders from Bernard and that Bernard said he hadn’t been at store level in a long time and didn’t really know the procedures either. I asked Jason if he even heard what I said when we walked out of the meat department to talk to the customer, Jason said he didn’t even hear me.

I had pocketed the first version of the “Warning” as Jason was writing the second version.

6:20 PM I asked Jessica to write a statement of her conversation with the customer. It reads:

“Today Bernard came for a ‘visit’ and a customer told him something about a piece of meat. Bernard then handed the meat package to Jason. Jason then brought the meat package to Doug. What was said in meat cutting room I have no idea. Then Doug brought out the meat (said by the customer) and put back on the self. After the butcher put the meat out I greeted the customer because we made eye contact. The customer then proceeded to tell me that Doug said ‘That guy is full of shit.’ I said who was he directing it to and he pointed at Bernard and I said ‘are you sure’? Then he told me he was going to tell Bernard and walked over and told him.”

7:15 PM After finishing the work on the block and cleaning the shop, I clocked out and went home.

Decide for yourselves.

Thank You for all your support.

In Solidarity
Doug Slaydon

We all know that is not a single event that someone can be terminated for.  Many of us have seen this happen in the past with the worker getting their job back within the week.

What you can do to help:

We are asking everyone to call the UFCW 588 main office in Roseville Ca at (916) 786-0588 and demand that the leadership at 588 gets Doug Slaydon reinstated to his job at Safeway.

We are asking everyone to take one more step and email Safeway's Bernard Hardy at and demand that Doug be reinstated to his job at Safeway.

Join us in a future action to be planned.

Help with the campaign to oust Loveall.

Doug needs evidence to force this to arbitration, or to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Talk to your business agents and pick their brains about the outcome of this type of claim.

We need members to step up and provide affidavits (sworn statements) drawing from their experience at work over the years and the usual punishment for using such words at work.  We have all seen this stuff happen before.  I have never seen anyone fired over this; at best they got a three-day suspension.