Dear Governor Scott:

I watched your Tuesday, June 8, COVID-19 progress report and I was ashamed to see how you handled the case of what is clearly a hostile takeover of a Vermont corporation for the sole purpose of shutting it down and getting rid of competition.

This Georgia–based predator has seen in the closure of Vermont Bread and Eddy’s Bakery, and Koffee Kup Bakery, an opportunity to rid itself of the competition it could never match. Who on Earth would ever choose a sandwich made with Wonder Bread over one made with bread from the Vermont Bread Bakery?

It was obvious, even as you spoke of “hoping” the purchaser would not shut down the factory and take its business elsewhere, you are talking about allowing a predator to permanently shut down a longtime Vermont business, leaving the empty factory and hundreds of Vermont workers lying in it’s wake. Telling these workers that the state of Vermont will offer them training for new jobs or help finding new jobs, is reprehensible and insulting. These are our neighbors, and these people are well-versed in job skills they have been so successful at that Wonder Bread wants to shut them down.

Please don’t so callously ignore this travesty. By doing so, you are telling all young Vermont workers if you become too good at your work, you’ll be shut down by a larger, more powerful manufacturer that just wants to eliminate competition.

We are still under your own executive emergency status due to the pandemic. Can’t you pull on your executive big-boy pants and cancel this sale, use money Vermont has been given by the feds (really, our own money in the first place) and use it to buy the business, offer the employees the opportunity to take it over as a cooperative, training them to do this, or resell it to a company determined to stay in Vermont with the original employees (and any other qualified Vermonters in need of employment)?

Please, Governor Scott, take action for Vermonters.

Clara Schoppe lives in St. Johnsbury.

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