Currently, Oregon is experiencing the highest rate of COVID-19 case increases in the nation. As the majority of counties in Oregon enter “High” or “Extreme” Risk for COVID-19, it is more important than ever that frontline workers have safe workplaces. Worker health is public health!

Members of JwJ representing faith and labor witnesses joined workers today, Monday April 26th, in a delegation to the Tanasbourne Whole Foods Store Manager, Sandra, to express their need for greater safety measures. Workers are calling for trained personnel to work the door to enforce the mask mandate, to enforce customer limits. Workers also expressed concern that carts are no longer being disinfected, which is dangerous for customers who wrongly believe that they are still being disinfected.

All pandemic long, frontline grocery workers have provided our vital needs without the decency of appropriate compensation or protection by negligent corporations. This is especially the case for workers of Amazon and Amazon-owned Whole Foods. This is wrong, and the JwJ Coalition and The Reverend Connie Yost bore witness to workers concerns for a safe workplace.

The workers presented the following letter articulating their concerns to management:

To Store Leadership at Whole Foods Market Tanasbourne,

We feel that we have been left out of important decision-making. As Oregon faces the rise of COVID-19 cases, we feel this is not the time to remove the shift at the front door without an alternative. We fear that we (especially those that have not been fully vaccinated) may catch the deadly disease as the finish line is coming into view. Many more customers without masks have been entering the store as Washington County sees risk rising. In addition, Whole Body continues to lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars in product due to theft. We respectfully ask that that you hire a security guard to check for proper face coverings and act as a reinforcement for loss prevention until every Team Member is fully vaccinated or Oregon sees a six week continuous drop in cases. We know that Whole Foods cares about Team Member happiness and growth, and to that end, we should be consulted and informed before decisions like these are made in the future.

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