Whole Foods employees organized a nationwide “sick-out” protest on Tuesday, demanding that the grocery retailer give staff double their regular wages as “hazard pay” for engaged on the frontlines throughout a pandemic.
The Whole Foods protest follows employee-organized strikes for higher coronavirus protections at Instacart, the grocery supply service, and an Amazon warehouse in New York. Entire Meals is owned by Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the richest particular person on this planet.
Entire Employee, a corporation of Whole Foods workers, known as on employees to remain residence sick on Tuesday to stress the corporate to enhance well-being protections for grocery staff, together with paid sick depart for all staff who must self-isolate, reinstatement of healthcare protection for half-time employees, higher sanitation gear, and the fast shutdown of any retailer location the place a worker exams optimistic for COVID-19.
The petition referenced an 11 March email from Complete Meals’ CEO, John Mackey, who recommended Whole Foods employees may reply to the pandemic by donating their paid day without work hours to co-employees coping with a medical emergency, as Vice Information reported.
Entire Meals workers’ beginning pay rate is $15 an hour, in line with the corporate. An Entire Meals spokeswoman mentioned the grocery retailer had already elevated staff’ wages by $2 an hour and high time beyond regulation pay, in addition to providing a further two weeks of paid sick time for employees who had examined constructive for COVID-19 and people in quarantine.
This week, the corporate had rolled out a brand new security measure: “everyday temperature screenings” for Whole Foods group members and Prime Now customers, spokeswoman Rachel Malish wrote in an electronic mail.
She is known as the Whole Worker protest organizers a “small, however vocal group” and stated that they didn’t symbolize “the collective voice” of greater than 95,000 Whole Foods staff, who “are heroically exhibiting up day by day to offer our communities with a necessary service.”