The trader immediately contacted the CEO.
In the letter, citing a medical journal and experts studying the respiratory transmission of the coronavirus, Ben Bonneman called on food chain leader Dan Bain to adopt stricter safety protocols. His demands include improving filtering, requiring masks without exception, and a “three-stroke” policy of removing non-cooperating customers from stores.
“We put our lives on the line every day by going to work,” wrote Bonnema, a New York City staff member. “Please introduce yourself to us by adopting this policy.”
The company responded quickly, he says. That fired him.
Bonnema’s story went viral over the weekend after she tweeted about it, sparking outrage by threatening to boycott the chain.
Some experts, referring to his letter to the Biden administration last month urging action to combat airborne transmission in the workplace, say it reinforces the need for action.
“We wrote this letter to protect people like Ben,” wrote Kimberly Pratter, a professor at the University of California, San Diego and one of 13 experts who wrote the letter to the White House. “His letter is a wonderful request based on science. We have been shopping there for 20 years. We will stop until the seller takes it seriously. ”
Kenya Friend Daniel, a food chain spokesman, said in an email to The Washington Post that “misinformation” was circulating about the circumstances of Bonnema’s termination. He said he had been fired “for his disrespectful treatment of our clients”. He added. “Nothing is more important to a trader than the safety of our staff members and customers.”
The company’s coronavirus safety measures include face mask requirements, gloves, masks, pre-shift health check-ups, enhanced cleansing and extended illness time, according to its website.
But Bonnema, who declined to be interviewed, said in a letter to Bain that additional measures were needed. He wrote that it was not enough to exceed the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying that the agency had “reduced the risk of aerosols since the outbreak”. The CDC has been going back and forth for months on the role that tiny droplets play in transmitting the virus, even as the evidence grows that they are a factor.
The business should follow the advice of scholars such as those who sent the letter to the Biden administration. He called on the CEO to improve HVAC systems in stores, to impose employment restrictions based on carbon dioxide levels. He suggested that no one be allowed in without a mask, that the network meet the “Americans with Disabilities” housing requirement, and suggest shopping for those who cannot or will not have a mask.
Demanding the “Three Strokes” rule, Bonnema wrote that he had been “shouted and sworn at by a client who would not resist over his nose, even though Mates had already asked him to do so.” The customer is allowed to continue shopping.
Bonnema wrote that he was in direct contact with Bain because “these changes can only be with your approval.”
The result was a termination letter. A February 26 document, which Bonnema shared on Twitter, said his proposals contradicted the company’s values.
“Recently. “By mail, you are proposing to apply a ‘3 strike policy’ to clients, a policy that applies the same accommodation to each client with a medical condition that does not allow them to wear a mask,” the letter reads. “These proposals are not in line with our core values. Also, you mention that Business Joe “does not come to us” without adopting your policy. It is clear that you do not understand our values. As a result, we are no longer comfortable with you working for Trader Joe’s. ”
Bonnema posted what it says is its staff’s August 2020 review, in which the salesperson gave her high marks on the entire board. He was assessed as meeting the expectations of each category, highly appreciating humor, kindness, for accepting the “Kaizen spirit”. This refers to the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement by the company.
He was praised for his “devotion and care” shown to the customers, the reviewer wrote. “You continue the thoughtful relationship with them in the registry արկում on the sales floor.”
Friend-Daniel, a spokesperson for Sales Friend, did not respond to a request for comment on Bonnema Performance.
Bonimana’s lawyer, Benjamin Dictor, described his client’s termination as a retaliatory move, citing his “flawless record.”
“Mr. Bonnema has a federally protected right to protect the security of his colleagues’ workplace,” he said. “His dismissal for such an act is reprehensible. We look forward to receiving an order from the National Board of Labor, which will direct his immediate reinstatement.”
One of Bonnema’s friends, Shakina Naifak, said she was shocked by her resignation. He said he had been a significant worker since the beginning of his global career, with most of New York closed.
According to him, his opinion “seems to be part of the conversation about how we value the people who do such work on the front lines.” He noted that when the coronavirus was newer, New Yorkers spent months on boilers and frying pans to support workers on a daily basis.
“You can’t say you support the people who do this work on the one hand and deprive them of their voices on the other,” he said.