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26 Jan 2022

USA: HelloFresh factory kitchen workers attempting to unionise after exposing poor working conditions face 'aggressive anti-union campaign'; incl. co. comments

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In September 2021, HelloFresh factory kitchen workers revealed the poor working conditions they faced, including being unable to afford rent with the wages they received, suffering from serious injuries, poor health & safety, workers being timed using the bathroom, and workers being forced to meet quotas regardless of staffing difficulties during the pandemic.

As a result, 1300 workers in two HelloFresh factory kitchens in Colorado and California started to unionise.

Unionising workers reported they faced an 'aggressive' anti-union campaign from the company. As a result, the union Unite Here Local 2850 in Richmond filed unfair labour practice charges against HelloFresh, alleging workers who supported unionising faced retaliation, intimidation and bullying.

Workers also said they were forced to attend meetings with union avoidance consultants.

Furthermore, internal Slack messages from HelloFresh showed managers discussing monitoring employees who posted about the union on social media, censoring union-related posts, attempting to delete negative reviews mentioning working conditions, and ignoring customer questions about the union. The Slack messages also showed the company trying to produce an anti-union video.

In response to HelloFresh's actions towards its kitchen workers, tech workers from the company wrote an open letter to the CEO, expressing solidarity with the unionising workers.

In November 2021, workers in Aurora were casting ballots by mail and workers in Richmond were scheduled to receive their ballots.

Company comments can be found below.