Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan gets a 40 percent raise; workers not so valued

While Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan got a huge pay boost, warehouse workers didn't share in the wealth.

While Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan got a huge pay boost, warehouse workers didn't share in the wealth.

It's good to be a grocery king. Discounted deli meat aside, the pay is pretty sweet and apparently getting even better. At least for Supervalu president and CEO Sam Duncan.

According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, the top dog of the Eden Prairie grocery netted a fat $6.92 million in fiscal year 2015, which ended Feb. 28. That's up 40 percent from $4.95 million the previous year. But rank-and-file workers aren't nearly as Supervalued.

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The report notes that the hefty increase was driven by a stock award, aided by the company's surprisingly strong fourth quarter. Sales were up 10 percent from the previous year.

Not bad for Duncan, an ex-OfficeMax honcho barely two years into his stint.

The union repping 723 warehouse workers in its Hopkins distribution center also negotiated a bump, but nowhere near Duncan's stratosphere. Under the threat of a strike, the two sides agreed to a new three-year deal just before the union's contract expired May 31. Compared to Duncan, they will receive a meager 3.5 percent increase.

In a response to a query about the discrepancy, a Supervalu spokesman wrote, "Supervalu has experienced improved performance the last two years under the direction of CEO Sam Duncan. Last year, Mr. Duncan's base salary did not change, but his total compensation increased as it was tied to the improved performance of the company."

Last fall an employee died in an accident at the Hopkins warehouse. At the time, WCCO reported employees had been working mandatory seven-day work weeks. That will change under the new agreement, a union spokesperson says.

"The members made this happen," Teamsters Local 120 President Tom Erickson says in a press release. "It was all about them showing unity, sticking together, and staying focused on getting a good contract."

Good things, indeed. Though it would been nice if Duncan shared a bit more of the company's success. After all, he wasn't the one pulling mandatory seven-day weeks to make it happen.

Send news tips to Michael Rietmulder.