I don't normally write about or publicly push "causes." Nor do I usually advertise when my family has made a decision to boycott a company or encourage others to do so. But an unjust situation involving Safeway Supermarkets has provoked me to the rare extreme in which I call on my readers to hit this company where it hurts: in the pocketbook!
What would cause me to go to such an extreme? A case involving a young Safeway meat-cutter named Ryan Young. Many weeks ago while working at the meat counter of a California Safeway, Mr. Young witnessed Quyen Van Tran beating his girlfriend, was 5 months pregnant. Courageously, Mr. Young stepped in between the lady and her assailant, and according to local police, possibly saved the lives of both the young lady and her unborn child. Douglas Castro, a security guard who was shopping that day and witnessed the altercation, testifies to the following:
Safeway employee Ryan Young intervened when he saw a customer assaulting his pregnant girlfriend. The incident took place in a Safeway Store located in the city of Del Rey Oaks, California. Local law enforcement stands behind Mr. Young's actions, but despite this Safeway has suspended Mr. Young without pay.
In response to this nonsensical move by Safeway, Mr. Castro started a petition drive on Mr. Young's behalf demanding that Safeway reinstate him. You can sign the petition here.
A more comprehensive account of the story can be found at the CBS affiliate here.
Here is the bottom line as far as I'm concerned: I don't know Mr. Young personally. I don't know his history with the company. But I do know that witnesses to the incident and police say that he did the right thing. A young man saw a woman in danger and put his own self at risk in order to protect her and her unborn child. In doing so, he did what any real man should be expected to do. But as "reward" for his intervention, Safeway has suspended him without pay for over a month. Mr. Young, whose own wife is also pregnant, is now in financial dire straits since they are a "one-income family" and his income has been suspended for over a month.
In a day when our society laments the dearth of genuine manhood, such heroic acts should not only be commended, they should be expected. Mr. Young was simply doing what anyone who dares call themselves a man should have done. His actions deserve commendation, a raise, and perhaps even a promotion. He certainly doesn't deserve the "company policy" nonsense and subsequent financial stress he and his family have experienced during this time in their lives.
There is a Safeway 5 miles from my home in central Maryland that our family often frequents, but no longer. The Raineys will patronize Safeway only when they reinstate this young man, reimburse him the back-pay he is due, and issue a public apology for their idiocy. Until then, not one penny of our family's budget will go toward supporting a company that discourages men from being men.
I hope you will join me in sending a loud, clear message to Safeway. And again, you can sign the change.org petition here.