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Job Actions Will Save Lives as Frontline Workers Demand Better Sanitation and Safety Conditions

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Press Contacts: 

Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535; roger@nationalcosh.org

National COSH Statement in Support of Workers at Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart

Job Actions Will Save Lives as
Frontline Workers Demand Better
Sanitation and Safety Conditions

SAN DIEGO – “Job actions by workers at Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart will save lives,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) “We strongly support front-line workers who are taking collective action to win protections for themselves, their co-workers and their families – and for all of us who depend on safe distribution of the food we need to survive.”

On Monday March 30, Amazon workers staged a walkout at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, as did Instacart workers across the country. Today, workers are staying home from Whole Foods stores in multiple locations nationwide.

Key demands from Whole Workers, a grassroots movement of workers at Whole Foods, include implementing social distance practices to protect workers and customers, adequate sanitation equipment at all locations, paid sick leave, and reinstatement of health care coverage for part-time and seasonal workers.

Amazon, the parent company of Whole Foods, was cited as a “Dirty Dozen” company by National COSH in 2018 and 2019.  Between 2013 and April of 2019, 13 workers died at Amazon facilities and operations, due to a fall from height during construction, the crash of an unsafe airplane, a worker crushed by a forklift and other preventable events. In addition, a number of preventable deaths of workers and pedestrians have been attributed to the breakneck pace of Amazon’s next-day delivery system.

“Amazon is a giant, wealthy firm that is a critical part of how we distribute food. medicine and other essential goods,” said Peter Dooley, safety and health senior project coordinator at National COSH. “Keeping workers safe is the only way to keep the public safe so we can slow the deadly spread of coronavirus. Jeff Bezos and all executives at Amazon, Whole Foods and Instacart must listen to workers, respond to urgent demands and take immediate action. Every minute of delay puts more lives at risk in our workplaces and our communities.”

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org. Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter