I’m starting this thread to establish some communication among Food Lion delivery drivers.
I’m currently working as a driver out of D.C. 10, Salisbury.
I’ve been working there for awhile now, but conditions seem to be changing, and not for the better.
Anybody else noticing any changes lately... good or bad?
Food Lion Delivery Driver
Glad to help out in regards to all of your questions about Food Lion on this one;
Regarding pay: Drivers are paid both hourly and mileage. Now, that’s not combined, it’s one or the other. For example; while you are actually driving, you are paid only mileage pay, which is about .53 cpm for a driver just starting out. That pay increases to .57 cpm after a driver has been employed there for two years. Driver pay maxes out after two years.
Hourly pay kicks in only if you are on a delay. A delay is defined as any time that you are not moving, i.e., waiting to be assigned a load (which is currently up to three hours a day), restacking a fallen (or several fallen) pallets inside your truck ( yes, we do handle the freight; policy is ‘driver assist’, so we unload right along with store personnel at every stop), waiting for store personnel to open the roll up door at the loading dock, traffic, weather, breakdowns, etc. etc.
Hourly pay starts for new drivers at about $19.50 (give or take a couple pennies) and goes up every 6 months to a year to eventually max out after two years at $ 22.00 an hour, give or take a couple of pennies.
Here’s the skinny: there is a seniority list. All new drivers, when they eventually get an actual, assigned shift, have to start out doing frozen (reefer truck) deliveries at no earlier than 1:00 PM. This is not good, and here’s why; driver dispatch is under orders to get out as many loads (that means all loads for the day, both grocery and frozen) as possible before 6:00 P.M. Now, when you, as the new driver, are doing frozen, you will always have between 5-8 stops... every load. And the miles on those frozen runs are generally only between 60-120 miles total. All those stops take a lot of time to finish; generally from between 5-8 hours, sometimes more. So, after finishing your run, when you finally return to your Distribution Center (or D.C.), the time will be well past 6 PM. Chances are, there will be no more loads left; this means that you will only have run one load in a day, therefore giving you between 60-120 miles total for the day. You’ll then be lucky if you can take home $600.00 for the week. Pay days are every 2 weeks, BTW. Now, the drivers with seniority are doing quite well, only because their starting times are early (beginning from 4AM up to about 10 AM). Also, they strictly run grocery (no frozen), and being that grocery runs only have 1-2 stops, the drivers are able to start early, get their loads done quickly, then get back to the D.C. and get a second, and even a third load, all in one day. Meanwhile, you as a frozen driver just got your ‘one and done’.
Health insurance is pretty much standard as compared to most anywhere else; depending on which plan you choose and however many dependents that you have, expect to pay up to about $600.00 a month. Yes, very expensive; especially given newer drivers’ salaries. Insurance company is Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Food Lion is actually owned by a company out of Belgium Called Ahold/Delhaize and the trucks are leased by a sub-company called Adusa (or Ahold Delhaize United Sates of America).
Corporations are increasingly only, only, only concerned about profits, above anything else, and Food Lion is no exception. There have been some recent changes in management at our D.C. and they are definately not employee friendly. The warehouse (which loads the trucks that we drive) has been recently slashing employee pay, while at the same time, is increasing warehouse employee workload. As a result, up to 40 warehouse employees a day are simply walking out and quitting, on the spot. Because of the resulting under staffing, along with poor employee morale, loads (loaded trucks) are now running very late and are loaded so poorly that the palletized stacks fall in transit and are scattered all over the floor of the trailer. This causes an enormous...and totally unecessary, additional workload on you, the driver, because, when you arrive at each store, you have to physically pick up all of the scattered boxes and reload them onto a fresh pallet or onto a ‘float’, which is basically a specialized, grocery flatbed cart. Real fun doing this work inside a frozen reefer truck in -20 temps. Also; expect to wait up to three hours after your shift starts for your loaded trailer to be ready due to warehouse understaffing and low warehouse employee morale.
Incidentally, pallet weight has just recently been increased from 2000 lbs. per pallet to 3000 lbs per pallet, and those pallets are stacked to the ceiling of the trailer; another increase in employee workload which is designed to eliminate as many moving trucks as possible; the more weight that you can stack on one truck means less loads going out for the day. Also, Food Lion does not provide electric pallet jacks.... cost too much. So everything is manual. Pulling out those three thousand pound water pallets by sheer muscle is a daily ritual. Up to 28 pallets on a truck. Drivers are paid per pallet, .50 per pallet.
Here’s another tidbit; not sure about Butner, D.C., but our D.C.10 management is very inept, lazy, and almost never available. This applies not only to driver transportation but to the adjacent mechanic shop as well. As a result, corruption and ‘favoritism’ is unchecked and rampant among transportation and mechanic shop management, as well as among driver dispatchers. Driver issues are seldom resolved, trucks are full of violations (broken windshields, bad brakes, faulty engines, etc.) and nothing gets fixed. I would be surprised if any other Food Lion D.C. is any better.
Actual grocery store loading docks and storage areas themselves are filthy and full of trash; canned food products, packaged food products, merchandise and ancient mouse traps are all cast aside and piling up in various areas of the grocery store warehouses; some untouched for years. Food products are held in such low regard that they are not even inventoried....... A box or can even slightly damaged, yet the contents are still intact? Kick it out of the way into the growing pile of long discarded, full cans of canned food and packages on the floor....who cares? No one will ever know or miss it... or even care or count it missing. Piles of unopened, discarded food products lay in scattered heaps and forgotten piles throughout each store warehouse, gathering dust, grime and spiderwebs. It’s all just cheap, low quality, massed produced, worthless human feed, full of fake, cheap ingredients to feed people that will literally buy, and eat, absolutely anything. And Food Lion is very, very expensive and overpriced... for the absolute cheapest quality possible. This store needs some good, stiff competition to give consumers fair quality at fair prices along with the Teamsters union to come in and shake the owners up into paying the employees fair, working wages along with providing more fair working conditions. We’re working on it, as is our Federally protected right to organize and to address all these new, unfair changes that are too much to take. Food Lion would be in direct violation of Federal law if they so much as try anything to persecute any actions toward collective labor organization. With the current openings of Publix, Harris Teeter, Aldi, Lidl, and Ingles, Food Lion is in for some major changes real soon, and, along with a new Union Contract, all that money that has all so recently been channeled unfairly to the few, top guys of the corporate food chain, may be coming to a shocking halt soon.
Also, ‘word’ has it that driver shifts are being considered to be cut down to an 8 hour day or less. If so, this would explain why Food Lion is still hiring so many new drivers, even with hardly any work for them.
This is hypothetical, at the moment, but it all would make sense; if Food Lion has many drivers, to all eventually only work part time, (part time being defined as 36 hours a week or less, I believe), say, only three days a week, then those drivers would not qualify for health insurance, therefore saving Food Lion the expense of any employer insurance contributions. This strategy is widespread throughout this company already and is standard practice in all the actual Food Lion grocery stores. Why not do it to the drivers as well?
I hope all the above helps; any other questions, just ask.Last edited: Dec 3, 2019