In a distressing email received by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, a worker at Amazon’s Whole Foods delivery warehouse in Industry City, Brooklyn, New York, said that six of her co-workers had tested positive for COVID since October 22, because “safe social distancing is not only being ignored but discouraged,” adding that “when we express our discomfort to management, we are yelled at about filling orders faster, or told that we can take a leave of absence without pay.”
Read more from Common Dreams here.
Described by Whole Foods as a humane family farm, investigators found animals freezing to death, and rescued one baby from the abusive situation at a Colorado factory farm. See the video from DxE on Facebook.
Dozens of leaked documents from Amazon’s Global Security Operations Center reveal the company’s reliance on Pinkerton operatives to spy on warehouse workers and the extensive monitoring of labor unions, environmental activists, and other social movements.
The documents offer an unprecedented look inside the internal security and surveillance apparatus of a company that has vigorously attempted to tamp down employee dissent and has previously been caught smearing employees who attempted to organize their colleagues. Read more from Vice News here.
The Amazon Web Services employee notes that this data was being used to track "Whole Foods Market Activism/Unionization Efforts, Internal Communications-Social Listening, Presence of Local Union Chapters and Alt Labor Groups, Presence of Community Organizations, Union Officials and Social Influencers." See more from Vice News here.
It is clear that not only are third-party sellers engaged in price gouging, but Amazon itself is selling essential products at significant price increases, and in many cases at a much higher price than other national retailers. See the report from Public Citizen here.
Whole Foods has fired a California employee who created a running count of COVID-19 cases in company’s US supermarkets because neither Amazon nor Whole Foods would make the information publicly available. Like its parent company Amazon, Whole Foods, has a track record of suppressing worker organizing and union activity. Read more from Vice here.
From mapping possible Unionizing activities to stopping those at warehouses from speaking out, both Whole Foods and Amazon show no shame in their actions. Read these stories from Business Insider regarding the company's "heat map" and efforts to stop a virtual event for workers dealing with the pandemic.
Whole Foods workers at numerous stores across the country, including locations in New York City, Chicago, Louisiana, and California have tested positive for Covid-19. In each of these locations, the stores have remained open, leading some employees to charge that Whole Foods has failed to prioritize their safety during a period of record sales for the company. The sick-out will be Tuesday, March 31st. Read more from Vice here.
Whole Foods Market has said its representations do not mean that its “meat is treated more humanely” than industry standards. Diestel Family Ranch, one of Whole Foods’ star meat suppliers, has argued that its ads were not misleading because there is no “standard for measuring whether something is thoughtful or unthoughtful, sustainable or unsustainable, farm or factory, and/or family or large business.” Read more from Sentient Media here.
Garments made in Bangladeshi factories that major retailers have banned as unsafe are finding their way onto Amazon's site for sale in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal investigates Amazon's apparel supply chains and the impact of its marketplace on garment factory workers. See the video here.