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Trader Joe’s workers: Company skimping on safety

New York Teacher

Workers at Trader Joe’s in New York City say the supermarket chain is skimping on their safety during the coronavirus pandemic. They say the company will no longer shut down a store for deep cleaning when a positive COVID-19 case arises. They also accuse Trader Joe’s of failing to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing among shoppers. The workers also complained that the company does not provide a clean work environment or a well-ventilated break area.

Trader Joe’s is one of the few major grocery chains in New York City, along with Whole Foods and Wegman’s, that is not unionized. 

Without the protection of a union, Trader Joe’s employees say they are afraid to speak up about the risks they face.

“All my colleagues have worked, since the pandemic started, in a state of terror,” said Jamie Chosak, who worked at Trader Joe’s in SoHo until she quit on Nov. 27. “All of this is compounded by the fear of talking to each other about the way the company mistreats employees.”

Though no data exists about the rate of COVID-19 infection among supermarket workers, Trader Joe’s employees say they have heard about numerous colleagues who’ve contracted the virus. They say at least one coronavirus-related death has been reported.

Gothamist, Nov. 29