Whole Foods employees are looking to unionize, citing diminished compensation and changes to their corporate culture following Amazon’s acquisition of the company.
Workers sent an email to employees at all 490 Whole Foods locations last Thursday, urging employees to back the unionization drive and to “collectively voice our concerns to Whole Foods Market and Amazon leadership,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Whole Foods laid off a number of employees in 2015 after weak sales; it also stopped offering lower-level staff stock options after the Amazon takeover, a benefit those employees had been offered since 1992.
“In the last three years, we have experienced layoffs, job consolidations, reduced labor budgets, poor wage growth, and constantly being asked to do more with less resources and now with less compensation,” the email said. “Jeff Bezos should not have earned 150 billion dollars while the majority of his workers live paycheck to paycheck and do not receive profit sharing.”
The move puts Amazon in a tricky spot. It has previously opposed union organization efforts by its warehouse workers. However, grocery store workers are considerably more in the public eye.
The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union is assisting in the workers’ effort.