Re: The Extreme Disciplinary action by the Personnel Committee taken towards Joe Holtz


Dear Editors,

Joe Holtz acted in good faith.

After the friend with whom he lunched informed him of testing positive for Covid, Joe took a rapid test—which was negative. He returned to work, masked. Then followed up with the PCR test, tested positive, isolated, took the antiviral COVID Rx and quickly recovered.

Those were not unreasonable, inconsiderate actions.

Joe is being unduly and unreasonably punished by the Personnel Committee for having returned to work while awaiting the PCR results. Joe acknowledged erring (the Coop policy was not that transparent/clear), but a suspension of 30 days without pay, without access to his email, and not being able to enter the Coop for any reason is humiliating and extreme punishment that does not “fit the crime.”

And then one has to wonder about the agenda of the Personnel Committee. Who are these people?

Why is there no appeal process to challenge the Personnel Committee’s decision? And why are the General Coordinators not standing by him more forcefully? Are they all afraid of the Personnel Committee’s wrath?

That the Personnel Committee has refused a Gazette reporter’s request for an interview to learn more about the Committee’s guiding philosophy or framework in regard to the disciplinary measures they impose is nothing short of an outrage! The Personnel Committee works for us!!! Members are owed total transparency!!!!

Joe Holtz has devoted his life to making the member-owned Coop the success it is—a model that is being replicated in other countries.

This is definitely not befitting the way we should be operating as a coop community.

It is shameful.

Margaret Maugenest
Safe Food Committee