Rob Baran or Robber Baron? (part 3.)

Part 1. Part 2.

Call, write, email, stop in or take whatever action you deem appropriate, to send a message to “co-op” management, letting them know that such conduct is unacceptable, especially from an establishment which sells itself as an alternative to chain stores.

Petty, East End Food “Co-op” tyrant, Rob Baran, has apparently suffered a head injury, similar to the one that makes Ben Roethlisberger spend thousands of US dollars on doggie clothes.
Maybe Mr. Baran needs a helmet?
An email that is circulating on several local email lists was received by the YT. In it, a co-op worker sheds some lights on Mr. Baran’s latest egomaniacal demands:

To anyone interested in justice or at least in the well-being of your friends at the EEFC, especially those involved with the city paper:
The cafe staff has been subjected over the past two weeks to numerous actions of questionable legality and are being threatened with a wholesale lay-off upon refusal to sign a document we’ve endearingly termed “The Ultimatum.”

Background:
A new manager was hired two weeks ago. Upon his first active day in the kitchen, he was demonstrably hostile to at least three employees, shouting continually in an unprovoked fit of rage despite their calm tones and attempts to pacify his outburst. He screamed things like “All the shit you make here is garbage!,” “I will not put my name on this crap” (while slamming a full pan of pasta into a trash can, and other things. When one staff member reminded him (his name is Terry) of a meeting he was scheduled to attend, he misheard her and screamed repeatedly “Terry IS THE MEANING! Terry IS the MEANING! Terry IS THE MEANING!!” These are the words of a megalomaniac. All the while, he shouted through the store, walking out the aisles to the lobby continuing to shout. Both employees to whom he had originally raised his voice were written up for insubordination. One, who has worked here over 10 years, insisted that if Terry were permitted to continue working as the manager, that she would deliver her two weeks notice effective the day in question. This is exactly what happened.

Two weeks lapsed with no word from management as to the status of Terry’s continued employment. Upon coming into work on Monday, November 26th, having never even met this man, I was prompted to a meeting with management along with the rest of the cafe staff. We were handed a legally questionable document by the general manager of the store, Rob Baran, REQUIRING our signatures by the next day at 5PM, to a list of promises including a promise to work FOR this man whose behavior was completely threatening and unprofessional. Keep in mind that, speaking only for myself, I had no idea this was coming and did absolutely nothing to provoke this ultimatum.
Quoting from the “cafe transition vision”/”ultimatum”: If you are unable to make this commitment, for whatever reason, you will be laid off at the time that best suits the business interests of the coop.
Please come into the coop, CALLing would be even better, or just come in and fill out a comment card and insist to be heard — that one of the best places to shop, a co-op no less, which is supposed to operate on democratic member-reviewed process, is trying to fuck all of us over as quietly as possible and sweep this under the rug. Our deadline has been extended to wednesday at 5pm.
TAKE ACTION IF YOU CAN!!!

A loyalty oath? Is it a slightly above minimum wage job or a motorcycle gang? What’s next, 7 year FBI background checks? Hair testing for drugs? Interviewing neighbors to see if a prospective employee is “co-op” material? Do the greenwashed chains put the people who work for them through this kind of nonsense?

Another “co-op” worker is also expressing their discontent with the conditions and atmosphere, and not just the working ones. Sounds like management is ignoring some pretty basic health and sanitation concerns, despite what appears to be multiple attempts to remedy them.

Even loyal consumers (or ‘member-owners’ or whatever pretentious bullshit title your membership fees pay for) are questioning whether “co-op” management views them as the same kind of captive audience that they view the workers to be, as evidenced by this exchange. I guess the “co-op” is overcharging people for the good feeling they get by shopping there?

 

 

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