Letters to the Editor

Tacoma co-op: Layoffs cause hurt feelings

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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Re: “Low sales, high costs lead to layoffs at co-op grocery,” (TNT, 8/4).

I was excited, like many, for the Central Co-op to finally reopen in Tacoma in June, especially since I was hired as part-time deli cook. I enjoyed working at the co-op.

But I and eight others were laid off in late July, just 40 days after the opening. All of us were shocked and quickly unemployed. It started with hours being cut for most but not the entire staff.

The reason given for the sudden loss of jobs was projecting sales incorrectly. This is a “solidarity cooperative” (there are various types of co-ops), which is all about workers and members set up to finance operations and minimize outside debt.

I doubt concerned members will be OK with this misstep. Many in the community are still upset about how Central Co-op closed so abruptly in 2016 while on Sixth Avenue.

As an employee, I was very hurt that a company with this structure would take out financial issues on workers the same as a typical corporation would.

Too bad the union hadn’t been set up yet. The Seattle store is unionized.

Roz Doneen, Tacoma

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