More important to Washintonians than the forthcoming Condi Rice testimony, coming Cicada Armageddon, or Cherry Blossoms is today's union vote by Giant and Safeway Workers. For those outside the beltway, the two major grocery stores in the region are shut down till about 3:00 p.m. today so their employees can vote on either a new contract or whether to go on strike.
The grocers are looking to cut costs so they can compete with other alleged non union groceries in the area.
Leaving out the fact that most people work in the middle of the day and shouldn't be grocery shopping (and those that don't could always have gone yesterday or can go this evening) people around town have been stocking up on supplies like the blizzard of the century is about to hit. Actually, they appear more frantic over this short shut down than they did when we were hit with a hurricane last summer or the 3 1/2 feet of snow last winter.
John Tant is generally torn on the issue. If they do vote to strike, it sounds like Safeway or Giant may pick up another customer.
This of course, for me at least, all begs the question of where are these other grocery stores located.
I live in McLean where we have two Safeways, a Giant and a Gourmet Giant all within 2 miles of each other. That's where I shop (we are partial to Safeway because we like their employees better). There are dozens of other Giants and Safeways between here and DC and throughout the entire Inside the Beltway Region (many more Safeways it seems).
I know there is a Harris Teeter on North Glebe Road in Ballston, but thats almost a 30 minute car trip for me. Likewise, there is a Shoppers Food Warehouse at Seven Corners (behind the home depot where the snipers struck) That is also a good 20 minute car ride in traffic. John mentions Food Lion. The only one I know of is about 35 minutes away in Sterling, VA. Its prices for baby food are about 40% cheaper than they are in McLean - hence, I used to drive out there every Saturday. The boy is old enough to eat table food now, so thankfully I don't have to do that anymore. I've heard of Wegmans, but have no idea where it is.
If you know of other, non union supermarkets within a reasonable distance of downtown McLean, please let me know. I want to see if their prices are really that much lower, and if so, would love to save some money.