Holtz Suspension


Dear Editors,

The Coop’s decision here is both appalling and sadly unsurprising. Holtz did just about everything right in this situation—and he’s being punished for an accident that hurt no one. Nothing in life is perfect and there will always be some mistakes around Covid testing. To suspend an employee for 30 days without pay for doing nothing with malice is gross, especially when the employer prides itself on social justice issues. Scandinavian countries—those ones that liberals cite for nearly every other public policy—no longer even advise taking a test for COVID-19. They just advise to stay home if you’re too sick, like most other common illnesses.

The Coop’s Covid maximalism is intolerable. When are the masks coming off? I can’t recognize friends who are shopping, will never remember a friendly cashier, and when I work a shift will never truly know who exactly I’m working with. The Coop used to feel like a home and neighborhood center and now it is just a joyless grocery store.

When will daycare be back? Is our old labor system—the one that put committed members, not employees (who often don’t seem to want to be there), in charge of shifts—ever coming back? What about that lovely bulletin board? In-person member orientation? In-person GM? What about normal capacity so if I want to grab nine items I don’t have to wait outside in the heat or cold? And people might actually be willing to shop in the rain.

The Coop is stuck in its April 2020 policies and I hate it. I predict that over time, if this keeps up, the store will suffer greatly. And it will deserve it. I’ll still go there for now because it’s the cheapest place to buy terrific food and it’s nearby, but it has very little else going for it.

David Bartner