If you’re out of work and need a job during the COVID-19 outbreak, Safeway is immediately hiring more than 2,000 workers as shoppers strip aisles to stock up for staying home. Most of the openings are available at more than 165 Bay Area locations, the company said.

Stores include Safeway, Andronico’s, Vons and Pak ’N Save. Positions include deli, meat, bakery, produce, fuel stations and customer service departments, cashier or clerk. In-store employees receive paid training, flexible scheduling, employee discounts, benefits and paid vacation and holidays.

Safeway is also hiring for full-time and part-time delivery drivers with paid training (no commercial driver’s license required) and other benefits.

This is from Mallory Moench, “Safeway is hiring more than 2,000 workers due to coronavirus demand,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2020.

Many will say that this isn’t heroism at all: it is simply a large company responding to a profit opportunity. Exactly. But isn’t it great when the profit motive gives an incentive to normal not-particularly-heroic people to act like heroes?

A lot of people in the Bay Area are in danger of losing their livelihood, due to Mayor “Defining Moment” London Breed, who seems to be a legend in her own mind. She has shut down the city of San Francisco, except for a few exceptions, for three weeks. (My daughter, by the way, is one of the people whose livelihood has been reduced. Fortunately, she very creatively offered her services for remote Pilates instruction on Instagram and has already had 6 takers in less than 18 hours.) It’s great to see these opportunities opening up for people whose livelihood the mayor has squashed.

By the way, this move by Safeway also shows the harm that the Trump-Republican-Democrat bailout bill will do. If you’ve been someone who’s lost his/her job or who has been laid off temporarily without pay, why take a job with Safeway if the feds are about to subsidize you? Such bills slow or even prevent in some cases the reallocation of labor to higher-valued uses. (Not higher valued compared to the uses they were in, but higher-valued compared to not having a job.)

HT2 Tom Lee.