A federal investigation has found that Amazon illegally fired a New York City warehouse worker in retaliation for organizing his coworkers for COVID-19 protections earlier this year.
Read more from Vice's Motherboard here.
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.
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.
“We believe ordinary Americans feel compassion for animals. That’s why they are willing to pay a premium for what they think is ‘humane’ meat,” said Diestel investigator Priya Sawhney. “But the truth is the birds at Diestel’s farms suffer tremendously.” Read more from Daily Rocket News here.
The North American Meat Institute, whose members include WalMart & Whole Foods, said enforcing Proposition 12 would hurt producers and consumers. Proposition 12, or the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, sets minimum space requirements for calves raised for veal, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens, and bans the sale of raw veal, pork or eggs from animals enclosed in too little space. Read more from Reuters here. Please note that at the same time Whole Foods & Amazon are attempting to get a restraining order against all animal rights activists at their stores throughout California.