Organic Food Maker Amy’s Kitchen Faces Several Unfair Labor Practice Charges

This article was originally published at Labor Notes. The spirit of unionizing is in the air, from Amazon to Starbucks. Now the workers in two frozen food factories in California are getting in on the action. But they’re facing serious union-busting from their employer, Amy’s Kitchen, despite its progressive branding. Amy’s Kitchen is the sixth-largest maker of organic frozen meals in the United States and the top U.S. producer of organic vegetarian food, according to the North Bay Business Journal. The company employs more than 2,000 workers, a majority of them Central American immigrants who do not speak English. On…

Nearly Half of All Warehouse Injuries in 2021 Happened at Amazon Warehouses

If a warehouse worker was injured on the job in 2021, there was about a 50 percent chance that they worked for Amazon, a new report highlighting dangerous working conditions at the company has revealed. Though Amazon employed only about 33 percent of warehouse workers in 2021, it was responsible for 49 percent of warehouse injuries that year, according to a damning new report from the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition between four major labor unions. The report analyzes data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Overall, workers sustained nearly 40,000 injuries at Amazon facilities last year,…

Alabama Amazon Workers Were Forced to Work as Mysterious Gas Filled Warehouse

Last week, the day after the 111th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a mysterious, smoky gas began filling an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. According to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), workers didn’t know what the gas was; while workers on the third floor were asked to take unpaid time off and leave at around 1:30 pm Central time, people on other floors were kept working at their stations. At around 4:30 pm, a little over an hour after workers first saw the gas on the first floor and with no word from management, workers…

Conservatives on Supreme Court Poised to Block Biden’s Vaccine and Mask Mandates

Despite the fact that we are in the midst of an unprecedented and deadly pandemic with no signs of abating, the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court appears unlikely to stop the carnage. The reactionary “justices” seem more inclined to shield corporate profits and red states’ rights than to protect the health and safety of the people. Scientists have achieved near unanimity that vaccines and masking are effective in preventing COVID infections. Nevertheless, the high court is being asked to block Biden administration rules that would mandate vaccines and/or masking and testing. On January 7, the court heard arguments in…

Two Lawyers Arguing Remotely Against Vaccine Mandates at Supreme Court Had COVID

At least two of the state officials arguing against the Biden Administration’s federal vaccine mandates Friday were forced to appear in front of the Supreme Court remotely because they had contracted COVID over the last few days, reports said. Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin Flowers and Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill argued their case over the phone, on behalf of Republican state officials and business groups who are seeking to block two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine requirements: one for employers who employ more than 100 people and another for healthcare facilities of any size. Other attorneys who passed…

DOJ Files Emergency Brief Asking Court to Unblock COVID Vaccine Work Rules

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally requested that a federal court lift its stay on rules from the Biden administration that require businesses with more than 100 employees to follow certain standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked rules published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) earlier this month that would have required companies of that size to have unvaccinated employees get jabbed or undergo weekly coronavirus testing starting January 4. Unvaccinated workers would also be required to start wearing masks in the workplace starting in December. The court had found…

At Least 269 Workers in US Meatpacking Industry Died in First Year of Pandemic

At least 59,000 workers at the nation’s five largest meatpackers were infected with COVID-19 and at least 269 died during the first year of the pandemic, a new investigation from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has found. That’s almost three times the number of both infections and deaths known from previous estimates based on publicly available data collected by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN). The actual number of COVID cases and deaths among workers in these facilities was likely even higher, because the data provided by companies to the subcommittee excludes cases discovered in off-site…

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