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Workers At HelloFresh Speak Up Against Anti-Union Scare Tactics

Facing unlivable wages, higher-than-average injury rates, and a union-busting campaign, workers at two HelloFresh factories are pushing forward union drives. If successful, workers would form the first union in the nation’s growing meal-kit industry. Around 400 workers in Aurora, Colorado are currently casting votes, which are set to be counted on November 22. Another 850 workers in Richmond, California will receive ballots by November 18. In a petition to the company, workers say that while HelloFresh “profited from the pandemic, employees faced disrespect, a COVID-19 outbreak, and preventable injuries.” According to data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2020, the incidence rate of recordable illnesses and injuries at the Richmond factory was over three times the standard rate of the warehousing and transportation industry and five times the rate of all private companies combined.

HelloFresh Workers Unionize To Improve Brutal Working Conditions

Last year, HelloFresh, the popular food-kit delivery company that advertises technologically innovative and sustainable approaches to cooking, sold 278 million meals to Americans and doubled its U.S. revenue to $2.4 billion. But on HelloFresh's assembly lines, workers were unable to afford rent, suffered serious injuries, and were subjected to timers when they used the bathroom, according to workers interviewed by Motherboard. Now 1,300 HelloFresh workers—intent on improving dire circumstances—are unionizing two HelloFresh factory kitchens in Colorado and California. On Tuesday, UNITE HERE, the national hospitality and service industry union, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to authorize a vote by workers at the kitchen factory in Aurora, Colorado.
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