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A Trader Joe’s employee says he was fired after he asked the firm’s CEO to enhance its COVID-19 protections

A Trader Joe’s employee says he was fired after he asked the firm’s CEO to enhance its COVID-19 protections
  • A New York man stated he was fired by Trader Joe’s after he requested the firm get modifications to better defend employees.
  • Ben Bonnema stated on Twitter he was fired after sending a letter to the firm’s CEO.
  • In the termination letter he shared, the firm stated he didn’t share the grocery chain’s “core Values.”

A New York Metropolis man stated he was fired by Trader Joe’s after he despatched a letter to the firm’s CEO requesting the firm get diverse modifications he stated would extra thoroughly defend the grocery chain’s employees from COVID-19.

In a tweet Friday evening, Ben Bonnema stated he was fired from the Trader Joe’s put on New York Metropolis’s Upper West Aspect after he despatched a letter to Dan Bane, the CEO of Trader Joe’s. Bonnema outlined modifications he believed the firm must restful put in force to further defend group from the airborne spread of the original coronavirus.

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Bonnema didn’t straight answer to Insider’s interrogate for statement Saturday. A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s known as Bonnema’s myth of his firing “misinformation.”

In the letter, which Bonnema shared on Twitter, Bonnema asked for five modifications in his Trader Joe’s store, together with enhancements to the store’s HVAC machine, an occupancy restrict consistent with the degree of CO2 in the store, extra stringent face screen necessities for customers, and a three-strike protection for customers who refuse to discover COVID-19 protocol.

“Unfortunately, ASHRAE and the CDC and OSHA possess downplayed the dangers of aerosols since the pandemic’s origins, so asserting that Trader Joe’s ‘exceeds their requirements’ is no longer all the time in actuality ethical ample,” he wrote in the letter.

—Ben Bonnema (@BenBonnema) February 26, 2021

“We must restful be following the guidelines of scientists who ogle respiratory transmission,” he added, together with a link to a February 17 article from The New York Times that reported a group of 13 scientists had known as on the Biden administration to free up solutions to restrict airborne transmissions of the virus in places appreciate meat-packing vegetation and prisons.


“We place our lives on the line each and every day by exhibiting up to work,” he wrote. “Please, conceal up for us by adopting these insurance policies.”

However Bonnema stated Trader Joe’s terminated him after sending the letter on behalf of his coworkers and shared his termination letter, dated Friday, February 26, on Twitter.”In a up to date electronic mail, you counsel adopting a ‘3 strike’ protection against customers and a protection implementing the same accommodation for each and every customer with a medical condition that precludes them from carrying a screen,” the termination letter be taught.

In Bonnema’s letter to the CEO, he had known as for the firm to place into effect screen utilization – even in the instances of medical exemptions, which would be usually illegitimate, writing that Trader Joe’s employees can accommodate such people by procuring on their behalf.

“These solutions must no longer consistent with our core Values,” the termination letter persisted. “In addition to to, you thunder that Trader Joe’s is no longer ‘exhibiting up for us’ without adopting your insurance policies.”

“It is a long way definite that you invent no longer effect our Values. Which skill that, we’re no longer any longer glad having you work for Trader Joe’s,” the letter concluded.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s told Insider Saturday: “Now we possess by no methodology, and would by no methodology, stop a Crew Member’s employment for elevating issues of security,” together with “store management terminated this Crew Member’s employment on myth of of the disrespect he confirmed toward our customers.”

“Nothing is extra crucial at Trader Joe’s than the security of our Crew Members and customers,” the spokesperson stated. “We help all Crew Members to raise an active role in store security, and share their solutions with management. For the duration of his instant tenure with Trader Joe’s, this Crew Member’s solutions had been listened to, and correctly addressed.”

A gaggle of Trader Joe’s employees selling a employees union for the grocery store voiced strengthen for Bonnema on Twitter. “We possess spoken with @BenBonnema and are extending unequivocal strengthen and team spirit. We is potentially no longer offering statement exterior what Ben decides to share, however are supporting him in each and every formula likely in this fight,” Crew for a Trader Joe’s Union stated.

Retail and grocery employees had been hailed as heroes early in the pandemic, as they worked to preserve mandatory companies operational in the course of the lockdown. However protections for retail employees remain extinct in the United States, and tons employees and labor activists possess known as for companies to invent extra.

Bonnema’s claims would no longer be the first time employees of Trader Joe’s complained about their security in the course of the pandemic. In November 2020, employees of the grocery chain told Gothamist they had been in a “thunder of alarm” and claimed the firm was no longer properly maintaining employees from the spread of the disease.

Employees of diverse New York Metropolis Trader Joe’s areas, together with the one on the Upper West Aspect, told Gothamist final year they had been shy of punishment from management must restful they express issues.

In a press free up earlier in February, Trader Joe’s outlined the draw it stated it was maintaining employees and customers from COVID-19, together with requiring face masks for tons of customers (and offering lodging for people who had been medically unable), offering masks and gloves to group, health screenings for employees, and increased cleansing at its stores.

“The security and wellbeing of our Crew Members and customers is, and repeatedly will most likely be, top of solutions,” a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s told Gothamist final year.

A Trader Joe’s employee says he was fired after he asked the firm’s CEO to enhance its COVID-19 protections