Shoppers at Pasadena’s Whole Foods Market on East Foothill were met on Tuesday by grocery workers who claim that Whole Foods is having a “disruptive impact” on Southern California’s social fabric and food supply chain.
In 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13 billion. Critics claim that prices have been increasing since the purchase.
They also claim homeowners and renters near Whole Foods are feeling the burden of skyrocketing property taxes and unaffordable rent. However, housing costs throughout the state have been skyrocketing.
Amazon is allegedly preparing to open an entirely new supermarket format to bolster its aggressive attempt to establish a major retail presence in the Southern California grocery segment.
“Cost of living is a huge issue. It’s out of control, and Amazon-Whole Foods is a part of that problem – receiving unjustifiable tax exemptions, driving costs up for the rest of us, even as it’s undercutting and depressing wages and standards. The Teamsters Union will not accept an attack on good jobs, retirement security and real health insurance that our families depend on. We will stand together and fight back,” said Randy Cammack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42.
Oxfam, the internationally renowned organization that fights world poverty and hunger, has denounced Whole Foods for human rights abuses in its food supply chain globally, but the problem extends to the United States, as well.
Whole Foods’ biggest supplier, UNFI, consolidated its operations in the Northwest recently in order to cut worker benefits, wages, and jobs and destroy union protections. Now, it’s planning to consolidate in Southern California.