Whole Foods Suspends Workers for Speaking Spanish: Claim

I personally have nothing against Whole Foods, because I don't shop there. What I do find hilarious about the company, however, is how the vast majority of its clientele are liberals even though CEO John Mackey is a self-proclaimed libertarian who's actually far more to the right than he lets on, what with his calling of Obamacare "fascism," his admiration of lunatic Ayn Rand, his union-bustinghatibg, and now his store policy that his workers can't speak Spanish on the clock under threat of suspension. REAL progressive there!


News of this broke today due to the reporting of Associated Press scribe (and my personal pal) Russell Contreras. Seems two workers at a Whole Foods in Albuquerque were told not to speak Spanish on the clock; when they went to complain about this policy, according to them, they were suspended.

A Whole Foods rep responded to Contreras that "all English speaking Team Members must speak English to customers and other Team Members while on the clock," in a statement. "Team Members are free to speak any language they would like during their breaks, meal periods and before and after work."

AKA: No speakee Spanish in front of our gabacho customers lest you make them feel uncomfortable.

It's Mackey's company, so he can have whatever policies he wants (although some New Mexico activists are claiming the company is in violation of the state's Constitution, which guarantees protection of Spanish speakers in the state). But again: the funny thing about this episode is that most of Whole Foods' so-called progressive customers won't give a damn, because it's far more important to them to think that they're making a difference in this world by buying overpriced organic goods than caring for the goodwill of Latino workers. And let's not even talk about the Latinos picking all those beautiful veggies, who ain't getting paid anywhere near fair wages...HILARIOUS!

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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292 comments
Lydia Garcia
Lydia Garcia

Estos gabachos piensan que el mundo gira a su alrededor pero estan pero bien equivocados!! Tenemos cosas sumamente mas importantes que hacer y platicar como para perder el tiempo hablando de ustedes!! Ü

Shame OnYou
Shame OnYou

LOL!!! Anna Banuelos is screaming for English only with her SPANISH name.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Relevant speech by Putin.

On February 4th, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma,
(Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia:

"In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Shari 'a Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law. Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'.

We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honourable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not Russians.

The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a standing ovation for five minutes!

Shame OnYou
Shame OnYou

You're welcome. Sandy V. BTW... Thanks YOU for serving OUR country in the military. GOD bless you and your family for your sacrifices. And your Marine fiance, too! (I peeked @ your profile)

Shame OnYou
Shame OnYou

We all care about The United States of America! But Sandy makes great points. It's too bad you/many Native American people lost their original Native AMERICAN culture and language.

Anna D. Banuelos
Anna D. Banuelos

I do care for the United States of "AMERICA" I have lots of friends from different countries. They came here & learned our language & either became citizens or are trying.

Shame OnYou
Shame OnYou

LOL! Anna Banuelos still cares, with her SPANISH name, too!

Anna D. Banuelos
Anna D. Banuelos

Shame on you, my name is not Ann Bane, YOU ARE THE DUMB ASS!!!!

Shame OnYou
Shame OnYou

You're a dumb one Ann Banes! I mean... not very bright. Contradiction indeed!

Sandra Valencia
Sandra Valencia

That's funny! You're a contradiction Anna Banuelos! Or in America would that be Ann Banes? Hmmmmm..... Alright... I'm done with you. Good riddance. Oh and if you keep responding, you obviously care enough to reply :D Hilarious!!!

je568
je568

@Learn English & speak & write it it or shut up-what all immigrants have been told all along & all followed except for Mexicans.

Mexicans like to whine so much-whine in Mexico, we are sick of your special interest problems that have nothing to do with making our country better.

Too uncomfortable or insecure to speak English? This is what I am told is the excuse for not speaking English.

What a bunch of  BALONEY. GROW UP. Become "Americanized" like everybody else. NOBODY IS SPECIAL.

Minerva Magdalena
Minerva Magdalena

Mi ENTIRE FAMILIA not shopping there. So, Colorado, California and Texas. The Power of La Gente. Like Mi Mami says,"Hit them in the Wallet, Pendejos." I say,"Hows your numbers on the DOW?", lol.

Minerva Magdalena
Minerva Magdalena

If Spanish should Not be "spoken" in Whole Foods Then Our Products Shouldn't Be Sold there Either. Like Salsa, Avocados, Honey Etc...RACIST as in the tactics used back in the 1950's with signs such as,"For Blacks Only."

Virginia Lopez
Virginia Lopez

Do I know you? I HEREBY DISASSOCIATE MYSELF FROM YOU. You are an ignorant name calling fool.

cyn0
cyn0

Any asshole manager can make a stupid policy.  It isn't about it being WF.  I speak Spanish all the time with several staff members at my local WF (Petaluma, CA).  One of them doesn't seem to speak English much at all and the others are bilingual Latinos who enjoy giving me some practice with my Spanish.  And yes, we have full conversations, not just greetings.  And, part of the reason I buy organic is because I don't want to give money to companies that spray their workers with poison.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Takes a story like this for the mexicans to show their true colors. No better than the african americans with their whining and self pity. 

Will Webb
Will Webb

Si, generalmente sucede que los hispanoparlantes se sorprenden mucho cuando un 'anglo' entiende perfectamente lo que están diciendo.. y lo que aun no entiendo es porque están aquí si tanto odian a la cultura norteamericana...

sgbrown10
sgbrown10

if you have a job at a company just obey the rules,

JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.
JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.

It's like calling a group of black guys 'Brother's'. Get over it you. Too many PC twats in the world now.

SoBe Herrera
SoBe Herrera

And also thanks for the posting, i will not shop there either! Fudgers!

Marleene Garcia
Marleene Garcia

what happens when you're mexican and live in sherman oaks and are surrounded by several of these "organic food stores"???! do i opt for the little middle-eastern marketas? it's the closest thing i'll get to a northgate gonzalez in these neck of the woods :S ....thumbs down on whole foods!

Tom Curran
Tom Curran

If you don't like it here fucking leave!!!!

Paco Gallardo
Paco Gallardo

I am taking my biz away from this company.. I will update my Yelp also for Huntington Beach- failed... And I'll stick to my home-made food- Mexican or otherwise- don't matter- we are people from the Global Village!! Bye bye!

Michael Snider
Michael Snider

The 10th Amendment forbids the federal government from declaring a national language

Daniel Castillo
Daniel Castillo

You guys are all a bunch of ignorant idiots!! The first language in America was English?? Ya tell that to the Native Americans you bunch of retards, OC weekly you stir up so much hate it ridiculous!!

Lee and Perrin Real Estate, Inc
Lee and Perrin Real Estate, Inc

John is right. Mexicans swear too much. Especially when they think the gabachos don't know what they're saying. It's obscene!

maribeleason
maribeleason

No Spanish on the clock? I'm glad we can finally shine some light on this topic. This shit happens all the time, this no Spanish on the job bullshit. People hire Bilingual employees thinking there's an ON/OFF switch. No guey, that's not how it works. 

Diana Bentley
Diana Bentley

I worked at WFM for 8 years. Not only was Spanish spoken, we also had people who spoke Italian, German, Russian, and other languages. We spoke Spanish to each other and to the huge clientele we had from Mexico. But I think Mackey is a jerk. I can say that because I don't work there anymore.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Shame OnYou Ad hominem. What's that got to do with anything? It's extremely racist to think that hispanics can only have libtard views on things or support the latinization of the United States. 

modeleccentric
modeleccentric

@je568 The exquisite ignorance of your comment is what prompts me to write in  reply. DO you fear other languages? Are you offended when Hindi, Urdu, Pashto, Russian, French, Amharic and other Non-Germanic languages are uttered before your August Personage? Or is it just the language of those you feel are inferior by dint of being born to the south of here? I'm quite assimilated, thanks, as are my parents, to whom Spanish was a first language, yet manage to speak English without an accent..and are often told "Mexican" jokes by the likes of you, to which we usually respond with a better, more offensive joke..If you live in the Western 11, We're a fact of life, and our culture permeates this area, whether you're aware of it or not. No more burritos for you, man. 

je568
je568

@Learn English & speak it or shut up

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr. You need to stop taking civics lessons from activists. 1st amendment doesn't apply to a private company's policies. If they want to say you can't talk about Jesus then that's ok and not unconstitutional. Show me a supreme court decision that says otherwise.

-paulc-
-paulc-

@Tom Curran Soooo...American's should leave their home because of some unfair language practice?  

bbinkowski
bbinkowski

@Lee and Perrin Real Estate, Inc I'm a "gabacha" who speaks near-fluent Spanish and I've never heard "Mexicans" (how do you know they're Mexican?) swear excessively in a work environment. 

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