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MoveOn Petition Decries Whole Foods Non-Existent 'English Only' Policy

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posted on Jun, 16 2013 @ 02:23 PM
Apparently 2 employees of Whole Foods (store chain) were recently disciplined by the Company for what some see as an attack on the use of non-English at work.

The Left-Tilted organization MoveOn is at the helm of a 'boycott' so to speak.

Liberal activist group has started a boycott against organic foods grocery Whole Foods Market, claiming that the company has an "English Only" language policy that was used to suspend two New Mexico employees.

MoveOn's activism comes amid debate in the Senate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill but seems to be based on erroneous information. Specifically, employees were not, in fact, suspended for violation of any Whole Foods language policy.

The petition accuses the grocery store of trying to get Spanish-speaking workers to "deny their heritage" by asking them to speak English while on the clock

Whole Foods says the 'English Only' policy is for safety reasons.
Perhaps they have it right?

Ben Friedland, Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain Region Executive Marketing Coordinator, said the Austin, Texas-based company believes in "having a uniform form of communication" for a safe working environment.

"Therefore, our policy states that all English speaking Team Members must speak English to customers and other Team Members while on the clock," Friedland said in a statement. "Team Members are free to speak any language they would like during their breaks, meal periods and before and after work."

Friedland said the policy doesn't prevent employees from speaking Spanish to customers who don't speak English, nor does it prevent them from speaking Spanish if all "parties present agree that a different language is their preferred form of communication."

Letton told the AP that in addition to safety reasons, the policy is in place so employees who don't speak Spanish don't feel uncomfortable.

And another Whole Foods spokeswoman told The Ausitinist:

When we’ve said our policy is to speak English in the stores, we mean that English is the default language, AND we want our Team Members to use their judgment about when it’s appropriate to speak other languages. We default to English because of the reasons we’ve stated, but want to allow our TMs the freedom to decide when it’s time to use other languages.

Why is an ultra-Left Wing outfit like MoveOn involved in this?

read the entire article and comment please.
MoveOn Petition Decries Whole Foods Non-Existent 'English Only' Policy

posted on Jun, 16 2013 @ 02:57 PM

Ben Friedland, Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain Region Executive Marketing Coordinator, said the Austin, Texas-based company believes in "having a uniform form of communication" for a safe working environment.
reply to post by xuenchen

This is logical it would seem. If an employee shouts "FIRE FIRE QUICKLY LEAVE NOW" in Spanish, patrons of the store may not understand and keep shopping unbeknownst to them of their burning demise.

If the warning of fire was spoken in the language most common to the patrons of the store, more lives might be saved.

The only dilemma would be in certain parts of the country(USA) where other languages are more common than English.

I wonder how they do it in Europe with the possibility of more than 10 common languages being just as popular at the same time.

posted on Jun, 16 2013 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by xuenchen

I guess the petition and other bad press worked, 'cuz they're revamping their employee handbook. I understand the reasoning behind the policy. But, I guess, just like anything else, it was misused.

Just days after an online petition began to gather momentum after two Whole Foods employees say they were suspended for speaking Spanish to each other on the job, the nation's largest natural foods chain has apologized for its unclear language policy -- and changed it.

Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb posted this statement on his blog on Friday: "On behalf of our senior leadership team, I apologize that a section of our employee handbook regarding team member interactions in the workplace was not clearly written, and for any misunderstandings or offense it has created," Robb said. "Its intention was to foster inclusion, not exclusion. We have changed the wording of this section and will ensure the new wording and more importantly, the intention behind it, is reviewed and discussed at all store and facility meetings, which will be within 45 days' time."

edit on 16-6-2013 by windword because: Linky

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