Whole Foods CEO John Mackey reportedly sparked some ire by suggesting that employees “donate” their paid time off to coworkers sick with the coronavirus.
Vice’s Motherboard reported that Mackey sent out an email to store-level workers on Wednesday, outlining company protocols and benefits amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. His memo included a note highlighting the grocery company’s longstanding policy of allowing employees to “donate” PTO to sick or grieving coworkers “across the country.”
Matt Colvin stayed home near Chattanooga, preparing for pallets of even more wipes and sanitizer he had ordered, and starting to list them on Amazon. Mr. Colvin said he had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for. To him, “it was crazy money.” To many others, it was profiteering from a pandemic.
The next day, Amazon pulled his items and thousands of other listings for sanitizer, wipes and face masks. The company suspended some of the sellers behind the listings and warned many others that if they kept running up prices, they’d lose their accounts. EBay soon followed with even stricter measures, prohibiting any U.S. sales of masks or sanitizer.
The employees could meet with an Uber recruiter and apply for new jobs within the company, Chevaleau informed them, according to the L.A. Times. If they were awarded one, Uber would cover the relocation costs.
The move comes as Uber has been under fire for worker rights, especially regarding the drivers who work as independent contractors.
Places to be, people to see, things to do
“We believe, by and large, that consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our business,” Maggie Bowman, the senior communications director at Constellation Brands, Corona’s producer, told Business Insider on Wednesday.
“Corona” in Latin means crown, and the word is the same in Spanish. Corona beer originated in Mexico.
In English, the anatomical term “corona” is used for body parts resembling a crown. Hence, the name “coronavirus” comes from the fact that under a microscope the virus has crown-like spikes protruding from it, as previously reported by Business Insider’s Holly Secon.