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.
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.
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.
Whole Foods says its mission is to “nourish people and the planet,” but workers at farms that supply the organic-grocery empire are often overworked and poorly treated, an investigation by Oxfam found.
Workers on sweet-potato farms in North Carolina that supply the Amazon.com Inc.–owned grocer reportedly put in 14-hour days in “oppressive heat with few rest breaks” and often with “very limited access to toilets,” according to the report. Read more from MarketWatch here.
Democracy Now discusses recent open rescues and investigations into factory farms that supply corporations like Whole Foods and Amazon. Watch part 2 of the report here.
Gizmodo reported today that a leaked 45-minute training video for Amazon managers takes an "aggressive" stance on quelling interest in organized labor at its facilities. According to Gizmodo, the video was sent last week to Team Leaders at the Whole Foods grocery chain, which Amazon purchased last year, and where employees have reportedly been considering union membership for themselves.
Read more from Forbes here.
Amazon is also wreaking havoc on the environment, and its delivery vehicles are generating untold amounts of greenhouse gases, ozone and particulate matter. California environmental advocates are taking on this challenge to protect the air quality in communities living with these warehouses in their backyards. Read more from truth out.org here.