Hannaford Brothers on Forest Avenue has applied to the city’s planning office for an addition and parking improvements on site that are currently being reviewed by city staff. The addition will permit on-line shopping by customers who don’t want to do it themselves in person. According to the store manager, the shopping will be done either by already on-board staff or by newly hired staff. That decision is yet to be made. There will be no public hearing before the city’s planning office.
On September 3, 2020, Stantec Consulting Services Inc. forwarded an application and drawings to the planning office for its review of a Level 11 Site Plan Application. A decision by the city is expected by the end of this month.
It is called the chain’s “To Go” Building and some at the store hope it will be up and functional by next summer. Not all employees like the idea, however. “I want to see what I am buying when I buy meat and produce. I don’t want to rely on someone else to pick out those products for me,” said one employee. “On-line purchasing is inevitable. It’s the wave of the future,” said another employee.
Contrary to press reports, Portland store employees are not receiving hazard pay. At least that is so, at the Forest Avenue store. Management acknowledged that only part-time, minimum wage employees have received Hazard Pay. Other employees are not receiving Hazard Pay. A long-time employee of the store confirmed that only part-time, minimum wage employees have received Hazard Pay.
One store official was reluctant to say anything substantive on the record, did give the impression that the chain is waiting to see the outcome of the lawsuit that is currently pending in Superior Court. He kept saying: “It’s a city matter.” They are working on it,” trying to change the subject from the store. He was referring to the lawsuit brought by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce against the City of Portland and two Intervening Defendants who are employees of Whole Foods. The lawsuit is challenging the ordinance that was passed decisively by Portland voters on November 3rd.
“Corporate just wants to put on a good front, ” said another employee. He was referring to the store’s claim to be paying Hazard Pay to all.
Please visit post herein dated December 4, 2020 for more background information on the two Whole Foods employees who are now defendants in the lawsuit brought by the Portland Regional Chamber against the city of Portland.