Several companies in the United States have formed Labor unions in order to have a body that engages in collective bargains with its employees.
Therefore, as one of the leading pet care retail stores in the US, one might ask- does PetSmart have a union? Here’s what I discovered!
Does PetSmart Have a Union In 2023?
Unfortunately, PetSmart does not have a union that advocates for the welfare of its employees in 2023. However, the United for Respect non-profit organization advocates for the improvement of wages at PetSmart, as well as better working conditions. The organization hopes to raise a campaign that leads to the improvement of working conditions at PetSmart.
If you want to find out more about the PetSmart Union, the actions of non-profit organizations in helping PetSmart workers, and much more, keep reading!
How Many PetSmart Stores Have a Union?
Currently, only one PetSmart store in Canada has managed to form a Union.
However, there have been reports of several challenges faced by stores employee in their efforts to unionize.
What Do PetSmart Workers Have Instead of Unions?
Although PetSmart does not have a union, the United for Respect (UFR) organization has come forward to highlight the woes of PetSmart employees through a campaign.
Through thorough analysis, the organization identified PetSmart employee issues and ultimately tried to create awareness in a bid to elevate working conditions.
Following the initiation of the campaign by United for Respect (UFR), several bodies have come forward to communicate the campaign to the masses, and encourage the signing of a petition.
What Are the Actions of Organizations That Campaign for PetSmart?
United for Respect (UFR) organization is working with PetSmart employees in order to advocate for safer conditions for both pets and employees.
As a non-profit organization fighting for bold policy changes that improve the lives of individuals in retail, UFP has identified stagnating wages, increased workload, and shortage of supplies and equipment.
Afterward, the organization created a report, named the “Greed Unleashed’ that highlights the unfair working conditions, as well as interventions or recommendations on how to improve the situation.
According to the report, UFP blames the poor working conditions of employees for the acquisition of the company by Wall Street private equity firm, BC Partners, in 2015.
The report blamed BC Partners for landing PetSmart in debt and milking available profits, which consequently reduced the available resources for proper working conditions.
The poor working conditions highlighted in the report include the following:
- PetSmart Failed to Protect Its Frontline Workers During Health Concerns
Many PetSmart workers have come forward to report how working during major health concerns put the workers’ lives and pets in jeopardy.
During health concerns, several PetSmart workers informed BC Partners of the need for the provision of personal protective equipment, use of proper protocol store, and hazard pay.
However, the workers have never received positive feedback with interventions on the concerns raised.
- Operational Mismanagement by BC Partners Degrades Working Conditions and Puts Pets at Risk
Several PetSmart employees have voiced their concerns about understaffing and insufficient training, which leads to poor customer service and low-quality pet-care.
PetSmart employees have also voiced the shortage of supplies and frequent breakdown of priority equipment, which further limits productivity in caring for the pets.
- Increase in Dog Deaths Since the Acquisition of PetSmart by BC Partners in 2015
Since the acquisition of PetSmart by BC Partners in 2015, at least 36 dogs have died while receiving care at PetSmart, or shortly after receiving services at the facility.
This figure is significantly high, based on reports of previous dog deaths.
Furthermore, PetSmart stores in Colorado, Tennessee, and Carolina have been reported for animal neglect while under the leadership of BC Partners.
- Minimum Federal and State Oversight of Pet Retailers
United for Respect reported the minimal regulatory oversight of pet retailers across 50 states citing no federal regulations that mandate for training and certification of pet groomers.
This situation further boosts the jeopardization of animal and employee welfare by giving private equity owners within the pet industry the power to define standards of care.
What Are the Key Recommendations in the PetSmart Campaigns?
Once the issues were highlighted, United for Respect organizations decided to recommend the responsibility of private equity owners of pet specialty retailers on employees and pets.
Generally, the recommendations highlight responsibilities such as protecting employees and general public health, creating quality jobs, and ensuring the provisions of exceptional pet care.
The key recommendations alongside the identified issues include the following:
- Quality Jobs for All Frontline Employees
The report recommended a guaranteed minimum wage of $15, access to full-time hours, fair scheduling, a guaranteed safe environment, and an increase of $5/hour for essential workers.
- Healthcare for All
The report recommended quality employer-paid healthcare, as well as covered premiums for employees at PetSmart, including part-timers.
- Prioritize Pet Safety
United for Respect recommended the provision of sufficient and proper supplies, functioning equipment, as well as adequate staffing and training for maximum pet care.
- Job Protections
UFR recommended the establishment of a severance policy for employees if the owners face bankruptcy, or if a change of ownership may cause layoffs, with at least 1 week of pay per year of employment.
In addition, UFR recommended the issuance of a 90-day notice in case of layoffs.
- Worker Representation on the Board of Directors
The UFR highlighted the need for frontline employees in making corporate policies that impact them and the pets they care for.
This way, pet care professionals can input unique knowledge and perspectives that are equally important in providing outstanding pet care and customer service.
Upon highlighting the issues and recommendations of working situations at PetSmart, United for Respect (UFR) initiated the #PetCareOverProfits campaigns.
The campaigns through the signing of petitions hope to elevate the passing of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act.
Furthermore, the campaign strives for the passing of the Protecting the Rights to Organize (Pro) in order to remove challenges that limit workers from exercising their rights to improve working conditions.
PetSmart does not have a union for its employees. However, the company has received attention from a retail worker advocacy group, United for Respect.
Through this advocacy group that operates as a non-profit organization, PetSmart employees can voice their needs and concerns with regard to their working conditions.