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Workplace Safety

The Labor Disputes At Amy’s Kitchen, Explained

“We’re now proudly B Corp certified!” chirps a green banner on the homepage of Amy’s Kitchen, the organic packaged and prepared-foods giant. It’s positioned above an image of the company’s founders, the Berliner family — Andy, who is currently the CEO of Amy’s Kitchen, with his wife Rachel and their daughter, Amy, after whom the company is named — dressed in down vests and worn-in scarves, smiling and windswept in front of a blue sky. “B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: Positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment,” Amy’s explains in a blog post from March 2021. “The B Corp community works toward reducing inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.”

These Tortilla Workers Walked Out And Won A Day Off Work

Chicago — Food production workers at El Milagro, one of Chicago’s most popular tortilla companies, join with community allies for a Day of the Dead vigil Nov. 2, 2021, in honor of five coworkers who died after contracting Covid-19 on the job. With candles and sugar skulls outside the company’s flagship taqueria in the Little Village neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side, workers and supporters spoke about their ongoing standoff with management — and their demands for justice on the job. “We’re here to remember our coworkers, friends and loved ones who have passed on from Covid-19,” Guillermo Romero said at the vigil. “We’ll never forget them. But we continue in this fight, for ourselves, for our dignity and to get respect.” Romero has worked at the company for 16 years.

Washington Mental Health Workers Win Safety Strike

When a patient attacked staff at for-profit Cascade Behavioral Health Center on August 1, injuring 11, it was the last straw for many. Staffers started calling out of work en masse, demanding that Cascade hire four security guards 24/7. Cascade quickly responded by charging the workers and their union, Service Employees (SEIU) Healthcare 1199NW, with an illegal wildcat strike, since the union hadn’t given the required 10-day notice. It sent termination letters to a couple dozen strikers. The union’s legal team responded that the nurses and techs were on a safety strike—a job action reserved for workers in abnormal danger on the job. By late October, 1199NW got word that the National Labor Relations Board had found no merit to Cascade’s claims that it was an illegal strike.
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