Franchisee who continued to work while exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness "temporarily removed"
In a statement released Friday, April 24, Sobeys announced that Fonthill store franchisee and Pelham Town Councillor Ron Kore has been removed from his job.
"We have launched an internal investigation and are taking this matter very seriously," said Jacquelin Weatherbee, Vice President of Communications and Corporate affairs.
"We are working in cooperation with all authorities. Today, we made the decision to temporarily remove the franchisee operator from the Fonthill location. Sobeys will be temporarily operating the store until the investigation is complete."
Sobeys operates a mixure of corporate-managed and franchise stores. Kore has run the Fonthill franchise for a decade.
"Sobeys was made aware of customer and employee concerns relating to the Fonthill Sobeys franchised store earlier this week," said Weatherbee. "We take every single complaint and customer question we receive very seriously."
"We are in the process of following-up with the inquires we received to understand people’s concerns and reassure them that everything has been done to ensure the Sobeys Fonthill location is safe for its customers and employees."
Kore did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has declined to comment to numerous local and national news organizations since news of his continuing to work, and attend Pelham Town Council meetings while visible ill, was originally reported by the Voice on Wednesday, April 22.
Weatherbee confirmed to CBC Hamilton that Kore had tested positive for COVID-19, notifying Sobeys of the result on Tuesday, April 21.
"Our customers’ trust means everything to us. We regret the stress the last few days has placed on employees and the Fonthill community," said Weatherbee.
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