Feb 3rd, 2023.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Informational picketing is set to begin around noon today at five New Seasons Market stores.
Members of New Seasons Labor Union are protesting the elimination of COVID-19 sick leave, which was removed unilaterally by New Seasons Market on January 1st, 2023.
Workers say that New Seasons violated their rights under federal law because it eliminated the protection without bargaining with the worker's union. They also say that cutting the benefit endangers the community.
“Last year, when COVID hit my family, this policy was the only reason we could afford to quarantine ourselves and not spread it further.” Said Max Bellah, a meat clerk. “ For the company to revoke a policy that helps protect the community feels like they're not living up to their stated values.”
“Our store does not require customers to wear masks, which greatly increases the chance of employees getting sick” Said Abigail Hall, a Cashier at the Slabtown location. “The thought that I could be exposed to COVID-19, become sick, and then potentially be fired for calling out sick without PTO is terrifying.”
New Seasons Labor Union condemns the elimination of paid leave for COVID-positive workers and demands that the company rescind the change. The Union has begun the process of bringing charges against New Seasons Market before the National Labor Relations Board.
The picketing is informational in nature and not strike action. Workers are asking the community to contact New Seasons management to voice concerns about safety and workers’ rights. An updated picketing schedule with locations is available at nslu.org/picket