Tags: unions | whole | foods | health

Unions Attack Whole Foods CEO Over Healthcare

Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009 12:25 PM

By Dan Weil

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A union advocacy group has urged Whole Foods to dump its chief executive John Mackey for his opposition to President Obama’s healthcare reform plan.

The upscale grocery chain’s CEO wrote in The Wall Street Journal Aug. 11 that "the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system."

CtW Investment Group, an arm of Change to Win, which represents seven unions, responded with a letter to the company calling for Mackey’s ouster. The Investment Group acts on behalf of union investments in pension funds.

Whole Foods isn’t unionized.

The group’s letter to the company reads: "Mr. Mackey attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views, but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base."

As a result, "he has become a liability, and the board should begin the process of identifying a suitable replacement," according to the letter, signed by Investment Group Executive Director Bill Patterson.

With its emphasis on health food, Whole Foods appeals to many people who are left of center and support Obama’s healthcare program. Mackey’s opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal has led to protests outside some Whole Foods stores.

Carl Gentry, who shopped at a Whole Foods in Atlanta, told The New York Times, “I’m going to go into management right now and tell them I disagree and that we’re going to see that people not shop here.”

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