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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Labor & Workers
Placerville Food Coop Workers Need Your Help!
The Placerville Food Coop nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada off Hwy 50 in Placerville Ca. use to be a relaxed mellow place to work. A small community food coop that employed maybe 25 people tops. Placerville has a long history of being a highly conservative area but that is changing quickly and the coop was a place where more liberal minded people could come to connect while enjoying a good organic healthy meal - a hub for the more left minded people in the area to connect and feel safe sharing their political views
Many younger people seeking employment at the coop would sacrifice higher wages and benefits that some corporate food companies may offer for the relaxed non corporate minded environment of the coop.
The Placerville Food Coop attracted some very passionate creative individuals when it came to organic healthy food. From restaurant quality chefs, organic bakers, to local organic farmers skilled in organic produce. Collectively the workers at the coop strived for the most sustainable business as possible. It was truly amazing to watch how the kitchen, bakery and produce all worked so closely together to create as little food waste as possible. Even uneatable food or organic compost was given freely to local organic farmers in the area to feed pigs, chickens etc. With the collective and creative minds of the workers at the Placerville Food Coop business really started to take off! Word of mouth spread quickly around town about the quality of food the coop was putting out and sales really started to boom in the deli & bakery. All good news! Good news for the community - good news for the coop investors. That was until recently.
The Placerville Food Coop has had one major flaw in our opinion during it’s existence and that’s finding and keeping competent management. In the past 5 years we believe there has been 5 different General Managers. Most recently a former employee named Regina promoted to general manger by the board of directors of the coop. Here’s the problem with the coop governance structure, other than sales numbers the “general manager” is accountable to no one. Allegedly once given this power that person makes “all” decisions within store level. It’s been reported once Regina was given this power she became power drunk! Why is it that so many people who are given the ability to hire or fire people feel they now have authority to dictate peoples lives?
Here are a few words that coop workers have used to describe the new general manager Regina….
Bully, Manipulator, Monster. There’s more but these are the printable words we can use.
Since Regina has taken power it’s alleged by workers she has unjustly fired workers for no more of a reason than just not liking a person. The Placerville Food Coop is a non-union shop so the workers are “at will” workers and can be fired for any reason at anytime. What few remaining workers are left feel they have to keep their mouth shut and heads down to keep there jobs. A working environment like this is neither good for workers or customers.
What once use to be a relaxed-mellow-fun work environment under Regina has now turned into a stressful-hostile working environment in which no one wants to work any longer. Our reports tell us since early March 2017 12 to 15 people have quit or been unjustly fired at the Placerville Food Coop.
It’s also been alleged by former coop workers that the coop kitchen is now having to bring in food from outside businesses just so the coop has food to sell. That can’t be good for business and that can’t be good for coop investors. Such a shame to see a fully functioning sustainable organic kitchen go to shit because of one power drunk individual that can’t treat workers with dignity and respect.
At this time we are asking anyone who cares about working peoples issues to contact the Placerville Food Coop general manager Regina and let her know that no one likes a power drunk workplace bully! Let Regina know that “the whole world is watching”!
You can contact Regina at (530) 621 - 3663 or regina [at] placervillecoop.org
Or visit the Placerville Food Coop Facebook page and leave your comments there https://www.facebook.com/PlacervilleFoodCoop/
PS: For any union organizers reading this now it would be a good time to visit the Placerville Food Coop and see if there’s any interest in starting a union organizing campaign.
Thank you for the solidarity & support!