Letters to the editor


A Second Coop Location: Yes!

Dear Coop,

The question of whether or not PSFC should open a new store in another neighborhood is too important to be decided by the tiny minority of members willing and able to attend general meetings. Every member should have a vote, and I vote “YES!” because the reasons why so few members attend the GM are far too numerous to list. One important constraint for me is PSFC’s location. I envy members who own a car or live close enough to walk to PSFC or reach it by some convenient public transportation! My only choices have always been: expensive cab or Uber, or a hike to a subway followed by a change to a shuttle train followed by a long wait for a bus (which is no longer in service). So even though I adore shopping at PSFC and am exempt from the work requirement, I am seldom able to shop there. Online shopping would be wonderful but cannot compare to the joy and sensuality of choosing your own fresh food. And yes, perhaps some new store might not be any closer to my Brooklyn address. Nonetheless, just the possibility it might is exhilarating. And should it not benefit me, it will help others like me—living in a food desert, desperate for the privilege (dare I say the right?) to easier access to heathy affordable food!

Phelonise Willie

Third-Party Delivery Services at the Coop?

To the Editor:

I am writing to raise serious issues with the Coop’s proposal to allow online ordering and delivery. The proposal, discussed as something of a done deal in Travis Hartman’s recent piece in the Linewaiters’ Gazette (“Online Shopping and Delivery: Plans Are Underway”), is flawed in one way that is not even touched on in the piece.

While it is clearly not good for the vitality and cohesiveness of our Coop that people would “shop” yet no longer interact with fellow members, the central problem with online delivery is captured as a mere aside in Hartman’s piece: “After the member picking the order has completed and packed the shop, they can just hit the delivery button in the app and a delivery service will come to the Coop, hopefully within the next five or ten minutes, and pick up the groceries for delivery.”

A delivery service?

Therein lies the flaw: Third-party delivery services are inherently exploitive of their workforce, which consists entirely of independent contractors who do not receive minimum wage, have no health benefits, are forced to obtain and maintain mopeds or electric bikes at their own cost, and can’t set their hours. In effect, delivery workers are treated like disposable gig workers.

Many delivery workers have been killed rushing between jobs because the nature of the third-party apps is that these workers get paid by the delivery—often deliveries that are far-flung. Making those deliveries at a breakneck speed is the only way for a worker to make a living—a fact that leads to death and injuries at a rate that would shock Coop members.

Streetsblog has written extensively about this, and I urge Coop members to read up on this industry before inking any deal that would bind us to it.

Third-party delivery services are not in keeping with the Coop’s values of equity and fair pay. I urge you to reject this notion.

Gersh Kuntzman