An extremely convenient time for this location to undergo renovations.
An extremely convenient time for this location to undergo renovations. JK
Yesterday, a group of workers at the Capitol Hill location of Trader Joe's released a statement regarding the store's indefinite closure that was announced on Friday. They say that the closure was "retaliation" from corporate after a significant number of crew members participated in the Black Lives Matter general strike that same Friday, despite the company's public-facing support of Black crew members. This group of anonymous Capitol Hill Trader Joe's crew members have been circulating a petition (which has over 18,000 signatures), calling for the store to be reopened immediately and their jobs restored, as well as establishing a website: savetjs130.com.

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But today, in a statement to Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, the Monrovia-based grocery chain pushed back on that claim. They confirm that store #130 was closed because there weren't enough workers to run it, but the store's "temporary" closure is related to construction, not protests. As if we've never heard this before.

“During this temporary closure, we are taking the time to execute a remodel plan to address safety and security concerns that have developed over the last year,” the spokesperson said via email to CHS Blog. “We will reopen the store as soon as these construction projects are completed, and it is our hope that we can welcome back our customers in the next week or two.”

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The spokesperson also says that store #130 will continue to pay their crew members for their scheduled shifts and donate perishable products that would expire before they reopen to local food banks. I'm waiting to hear back from the Save TJs 130 group and will update this post once I do.

UPDATE: Save TJs #130 sent out a press release calling corporate's response a "smokescreen." They said they were notified midday via their scheduling app about the closure due to remodeling, but had not been informed of an extended closure until Friday. "Trader Joe’s corporate is feeling the public pressure and trying to regain control of the narrative," they wrote. Apparently management will be in contact over the next few days to touch base with all crew members (who have not lost their jobs, it seems), but Save TJs #130 say they intend to continue conversation with both management and corporate as a collective. "We are not going to overlook TJs corporate’s actions this past Friday, and we will not return to the store without addressing this breach of trust as well as entrenched issues."

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