1,300 HelloFresh warehouse workers in California and Colorado are unionizing to address traumatic workplace injuries, horrific working conditions, and low pay.
The meal-kit giant, which promises convenience and comfort to its customers, forces warehouse workers to stay on the assembly line even when they have severe injuries caused by their unsafe work environment. One worker’s foot was crushed by a 300 pound pallet. Several more have broken arms and legs.
“I’m 19 years old. I’ve been working at HelloFresh for a year and a half and before that I’d never felt as much back pain as I do now,” HelloFresh worker Aindra Hernandez told More Perfect Union. “It’s deeply annoying, at the age I currently am, to already suffer from pain.”
Adding insult to injury, workers are timed on bathroom breaks. Workers say managers even go into the bathroom to harass workers back to the assembly line. And despite all their hard work, HelloFresh workers are paid a wage that they say they can’t afford to live on. Many work two jobs to afford rent.
“A lot of the workers that work at HelloFresh can’t even afford a box of HelloFresh,” UNITE HERE Local 2850 President Yulisa Elenes told More Perfect Union. “They can’t afford the box that they make.”
HelloFresh workers organizing with UNITE HERE are facing an aggressive union-busting campaign from their employer. The company is paying $3,500 per day to seven consultants from the anti-union firm Kulture Counseling for the HelloFresh facilities in Colorado and California.
HelloFresh workers will vote in the coming weeks on whether to form a union.