- Courtesy H-E-B
As of press time, the online petition started by David Spener has more than 23,000 signatures.
San Antonio-based H-E-B was unavailable for immediate comment.
Roughly two weeks ago, the grocery giant announced it would encourage shoppers to wear masks but no longer require it. Since then, 33 of the company's San Antonio-area stores have reported that workers have tested positive COVID-19.
H-E-B still requires employees and vendors to wear masks and gloves, but Spener questioned why the company rescinded its policy requiring face coverings of shoppers, even as Texas' COVID-19 hospitalization numbers recently hit record highs.
"According to H-E-B company representatives, they have done this because the governor of Texas has not allowed local governments ... to legally require people in public places to wear masks," the petition says.
However, in online posts, employees have argued that it's because some shoppers reacted with aggression when being denied entry for lack of a mask.
“It’s because customers are assholes," Reddit user BoBTheBak3r posted on an r/sanantonio thread. "They would call us Nazis, Hitler among countless other things when told that [masks] are required.”
Another user, dodofishman, agreed.
“Enforcing masks can get heated,” he said. “I would feel it would 100% be out of my paygrade to do that if I worked as an H-E-B cashier.”
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