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World Trader Joe's Faces Boycott Calls After Reportedly Firing Employee Who Sought Better COVID Protections

02:22  28 february  2021
02:22  28 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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One Trader Joe ’ s employee in Illinois says he had symptoms in February and was sick for a couple of weeks. While he took some unpaid days off, he eventually went back in, needing the money. As of March 2, Trader Joe ’ s is providing a week of additional paid sick time to “crew members who have Even if employees are reporting stress behind the scenes, a spokesperson for the company says it has received “countless emails and phone calls from customers expressing their gratitude for the great lengths our stores are going to, to keep them safe and making their shopping experience as enjoyable

COVID -19. Trader Joe ' s employee who is deaf is using a customized T-shirt and white boards to communicate with mask-wearing customers. “I am a proud member of the Deaf community who also has acquired skills to navigate in the hearing world, and yet both of those worlds often collide or have

A Trader Joe's employee was reportedly fired after he wrote a letter to the grocery store's CEO, Dan Bane, asking for improved conditions to protect workers from the novel coronavirus, spurring calls to boycott the store and unionize workers.

A New York City man was reportedly fired by Trader Joe's after he wrote a letter to Chief Executive Officer Dan Bane requesting better store conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A store associate distributes hand sanitizer to customers as they enter the Trader Joe's store in South Beach on April 14, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. © Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images A New York City man was reportedly fired by Trader Joe's after he wrote a letter to Chief Executive Officer Dan Bane requesting better store conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A store associate distributes hand sanitizer to customers as they enter the Trader Joe's store in South Beach on April 14, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.

"trader joe's just fired me for sending this letter to the ceo, saying i don't share the company values. i guess advocating for a safer workplace isn't a company value?" the man, Ben Bonnema, said in a Friday tweet.

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Plainview, NY – Trader Joe ’ s store on 425 S Oyster Bay Rd. A crew member in each store has either tested positive for COVID -19 or is receiving treatment for a suspected case. If you visited one of these stores, you can check out Trader Joe ’ s website for further instructions. Trader Joe ’ s is known for treating its employees well so despite the stores being closed, Trader Joe ’ s will still be paying all of their crew members for their scheduled shifts. Trader Joe ’ s also recently announced that due to the increased demand for groceries, they are hiring temporary workers.

Wayfair is facing a criticism after employees protested the company' s apparent sale of mattresses destined for a border detention camp for children. Some customers and businesses are boycotting the online furniture retailer until the company apologizes. Wayfair sold mattresses and bunk beds to a Jenny, a preschool teacher from Eugene, Oregon, who asked CNBC to withhold her last name, said she canceled a Wayfair order she had placed just half an hour earlier after seeing news of the protest on Twitter. She didn't want to be fully identified for fear of public backlash. "It' s a tiny little thing you

Bonnema, who worked at a store New York City's Upper West Side, wrote the letter to Bane on behalf of himself and another store employee, or "crew member."

In his statement to Bane, Bonnema references a Feb. 15 letter from 13 scientific experts to Jeffrey Zients, coordinator and counselor for Biden's COVID-19 response; Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, demanding the Biden administration to update guidance on how COVID-19 is spread through aerosols.

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Fifty-five people in the United States have died after receiving a COVID -19 vaccine, according to reports submitted to a federal system. Deaths have occurred among people receiving both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to the reports. Moderna hasn't responded to requests for comment on its involvement in monitoring serious adverse events in people who get its vaccine. The updated VAERS data came after Norway changed its COVID -19 vaccination guide to direct officials not to give "very frail" people one of the vaccines, citing 13 deaths among people who were vaccinated.

COVID -19 related scams have been reported in Michigan, Florida and other states, according to federal regulators. This week, officials in a Michigan county reported that two consumers complained that they were called by someone impersonating a public health worker who reportedly was trying to schedule an appointment. All the news about the high demand for shots and short supplies of the vaccine could present another opening for scammers, too. They realize that some people are flustered after many repeated attempts to book an appointment for a shot. "Don't pay for promises of early access.

Outdated guidelines from the Trump administration "have not been...strengthened to address and limit inhalation exposure to small aerosol particles," the medical experts argued.

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Bonnema wrote that that leadership's claim that Trader Joe's stores "exceed" CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards "isn't good enough."

"We should be following the guidelines of scientists who study respiratory transmission," Bonnema wrote. He then outlined five areas of improvement within the store he worked at to prevent airborne transmission of COVID-19.

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Demonstrators staged an unauthorized protest in the Austrian capital, Vienna to show their discontent with the government’ s strict lockdown. Police blocked the central Ring Road and sought to disperse the crowd. Between hundreds to thousands of demonstrators have gathered at the Maria Theresa Square in the center of the Austrian capital, according to various local media reports. The protesters defied the ban on the large protest issued by the authorities. The demonstrators that soon occupied part of the Vienna Ring Road called the event a ‘ Covid -19 walk’.

He asked that the store improve filters; increase air change per hour; limit shopper capacity based on carbon dioxide levels in the store; prevent customers from entering if they are not wearing a mask; and adapt a "3 strikes policy" to support employees burdened with removing "uncooperative people" from store premises.

"I was recently shouted and sworn at by a customer who would not wear his mask above his nose, despite Mates already asking him to do so," Bonnema wrote. "He was allowed to finish his shopping and check out."

Bonnema further stated reasons for company leadership to adopt his recommendations, including a reportedly painted-over label disguising whether the store's system could handle the CDC-recommended MERV-13 air filter. He also said employees were told management was "working with the facilities manager" to improve HVAC capacity, "but no real information" had been provided.

Trader Joe's did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment in response to Bonnema's specific complaints.

The reported firing of the New York City man was met with demands across Twitter to boycott stores and potentially organize Trader Joe's workers.

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"another reason for @traderjoesunion," Bonnema tweeted, tagging the account that represents a coalition of workers who are advocating for better employee conditions at the California-based company.

The coalition said it had "unequivocal support and solidarity" for Bonnema in a tweet on Saturday. "This is retaliation, plain and simple, and we will be using every resource at our disposal to support and defend Ben and every worker whose needs have been silenced and gaslit in their pursuit of a safe and equitable workplace."

Trader Joe's employees, who have heightened risk of contracting the virus in their jobs, have historically faced a culture of fear of reprimand if they talk about worker conditions, Gothamist reported. Workers at other New York City Trader Joe's locations told Gothamist of similar issues Bonnema experienced, especially poor ventilation in stores, struggles to implement mask-wearing, and difficulty figuring out if they've come in contact with someone who is positive for the virus.

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In March, CEO Bane sent a letter discouraging Trader Joe's workers from forming "distracting" labor unions, The New York Times reported.

Bonnema's complaint echoes a larger call from grocery store and other frontline workers for better protection from airborne transmission. On Tuesday, National Nurses United and 44 other organizations delivered a petition to the CDC demanding the agency to update its guidance. The organizations said grocery workers are a key group that haven't receive proper guidance to protect employees in customer-facing roles.

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