Demand Dignity & Respect!

Demand A Competitive Living Wage and Substantial & Consistent Pay Raises For Workers at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market!

One of our fellow worker’s, Kenneth Yates was wrongfully terminated from Richmond, Virginia’s Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market after 5 ½ years of committed service on Tuesday February 15th.

“When you go to work you ordinarily leave your constitutional rights as a citizen in the glove compartment of your car…” -Staughton Lynd & Daniel Gross

Kenneth was well aware of this and as a committed member of the community in which he lives and works, did not allow that to come between him and the injustices he found in the workplace. In December, after being courted by management to become a part of their team, then respectfully refusing the offer, he was threatened with a statement that he should reconsider and either “move up, or move out”.

Fast-forward to January 30th & 31st, 2011. Kenneth, in a concerted effort with his fellow workers, challenged a new and unwarranted decision by management to force workers in their department who regularly work early morning shifts to close one shift a week and take a mandatory following day off, and for those who close to do the same. The schedules were not changed. However, we feel that after refusing to submit to the schedule changes that would bring undue stress on our minds and bodies, Kenneth was singled out as a problem, a wrench in the machine, the organizer.

Present Day: After volunteering on his day off, going above and beyond the specifications of his job, to clean the refuse wells of the dairy cooler, his employment was terminated for what management defined as ‘gross negligence’. A fan had become dislodged in a section of the cooler Kenneth was not able to reach in his cleaning due to time constraints. Management accused him of not plugging the fan back in, which resulted in the shrink of several hundred dollars of product. Management refusing to hear his side of the story, dismissed his claims that he did not unplug any of the fans and that the cooler showed no signs of problems when he left. They added that he ‘neglected’ to inform anyone that the job wasn’t finished, further refusing to accept that there wasn’t any apparent reason for Kenneth to alert anyone, however he immediately on his next scheduled work day, upon arrival told his department manager that he was unable to finish the job, but planned to finish at a later time that week. After 5 ½ years of excellent customer service and product knowledge, and the willingness to take on extra responsibilities, and do what ever it took to get the job done, what management calls ‘gross negligence’, in actuality seems to be more of an unfortunate accident.

We feel that Kenneth is a victim of discrimination based on the belief that Ellwood Thompson’s, as a business who states in their mission statement that they want to help “…strengthen our community, once [sic] choice at a time…” has made many terrible choices in the form of poor labor practices that have weakened our community.

We demand that Rick Hood & Ellwood Thompson’s fulfill their commitment to a sustainable community by providing a place of employment where workers can retain their dignity and feel their labor is valued and respected.

We demand that Ellwood Thompson’s, as a first step towards that goal, provide a Competitive Living Wage & Substantial & Consistent Pay Raises.

We’re requesting that you call management at the store, (804)359-7525 and/or fax: (804)359-8529 as well as the owner Rick Hood who can be reached at his other company Hood Properties at (804)355-9161 and demand a respectable and dignified workplace at Ellwood Thompsons’ for all current and future workers.

Ellwood Thompson’s hours are 7am – 9:00pm EST, seven days a week.

Email any and all the management at the following addresses as well! Just Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V! TTaylor@ellwoodthompsons.com; tlangford@ellwoodthompsons.com; RickHood@ellwoodthompsons.com; jstaten@ellwoodthompsons.com; GCarson@ellwoodthompsons.com; sbutler@ellwoodthompsons.com

Please feel free to use the sample message below:

Hello my name is _____________ and I demand that Rick Hood & Ellwood Thompson’s fulfill their commitment to a sustainable community by providing a place of employment where workers can retain their dignity and feel their labor is valued and respected. We demand that Ellwood Thompson’s provide a Competitive Living Wage & Substantial & Consistent Pay Raises.

An Injury to One, Is An Injury To All! — Richmond Industrial Workers of the World • P.O. Box 7055 • Richmond, Virginia 23221-0055 (e) richmondiww@gmail.com • (w) http://www.richmondiww.org • (p) 804-496-1568

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