FRONT END QUOTAS
Due to the recent revival of the 1 to 1 Front End ratio Costco has had to pay higher labor costs for staffing the Front End while still providing good customer service. In order to control costs the Company has tried to increase productivity on the Front End. Most warehouses have opted for Positive Reinforcement to reach their goal, while a few warehouses have resorted to Negative Reinforcement by establishing quotas and threatening employees with Corrective Consultations and/or posting a Slowest Cashier List.
The Teamsters Local office has gotten a lot of phone calls from concerned Costco employees, and I hope that this short letter clarifies both the Union and Company positions.
Is there a Quota for Customers per Hour, Items per Minute, etc.?
No. There are no quotas. In a Statewide Joint Labor Management meeting held on June 25, 2003 both the Senior Vice-President of Operations and Costco's Labor Department confirmed that there are no quotas on the Front End.
If there are no quotas, then why am I forced to ring faster?
The quotasare not true quotas they are GOALS. The Company wants to get more bang for their buck so they would like their cashiers and assistants to perform at a reasonable rate.
Can the Company tell us what the reasonable rate is, and then write us up if we don't reach it?
No. That is also a quota the National Labor Relations Act (Federal Government) states that the setting of quotas must be done through negotiations. The Company cannot arbitrarily set quotas without potentially having legal problems.
Doesn't the Company Policy override Federal Law?
No. Note that Non-Union warehouses can have quotas.
If these are only goals, does that mean that I can ring slower?
No. The Union cannot support a work slowdown. Each cashier/assistant team must always remember to give the Members good customer service at an efficient speed that guarantees to protect company assets. In other words, go at the fastest pace that ensures that you don't mistender checks, get door audits, and still give your Member a good experience.
How can I speed up my line?
Ask your supervisors or other speedy cashiers for tips. Usually a good assistant can help speed up a line by collecting cards, offering a pen for checks, having boxes ready, etc.
Remember - Do a good job so the Members keep coming back - always be courteous, always be efficient, and always do your best to try to hit the goals.