Tell MOM's Organic Market we need better safety and work conditions now!
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We, the workers of MOM’s Organic Market Center City Philadelphia (with support from OnePA), call on the company’s central leadership to take immediate and decisive action to protect both our customers and our staff during the coronavirus pandemic. This call includes demands for improved sanitation, improved social distancing practices, and protections for workers’ rights. Refusing to take these steps will cause more infections and deaths in this crisis.
MOM’s Organic Market’s response has been wholly inadequate and delayed, and the company’s consistent denial of the gravity of the crisis endangers the lives of customers and workers. On March 24th, Human Resources proclaimed triumphantly, “we have made it through the worst of this unforeseen stress!” On March 29th, hospitals in New York City began using refrigerated trailers as makeshift morgues.
While other grocers in the city, from large competitors like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to smaller local shops like Mariposa, have been taking steps such as limiting customers in stores to allow for social distancing and holding special hours for at-risk populations to shop, MOM’s has not only refused to take these measures but has reprimanded and even fired workers who have called for them.
Since we delivered our petition on April 6th, we have already won a few concessions! Store managers now have the authority to manage customer flow when they subjectively feel the store is too crowded, however at Center City they have yet to exercise this authority. On Monday, MOM’s announced that workers will receive a bonus of $4 an hour for hours worked between March 22nd and April 5th, and announced that they are ordering masks in adherence to CDC guidelines. While we celebrate these minor victories, we recognize that these concessions are insufficient, and need the company to do more. We invite the owner and founder of MOM's, Scott Nash, and the rest of the company's central leadership to come to the table and negotiate with us.
In order to protect our customers and ourselves, we demand the following:
- Limiting the number of customers in the store to 20 at a time
- Implementing a 1 customer or group limit in our compact alcohol section
- Clear signage giving accurate and detailed information about COVID19 on the company website and clearly visible to staff and customers in MOM’s stores
- Closing at 7:00 pm to allow employees to get home safely in the city of Philadelphia
- A mid-day break to sanitize and restock
- A special hour from 8 to 9 am for at-risk populations to shop
- 2 weeks paid time off for anyone over 60 or immunocompromised
- Clear and standardized training on best sanitation practices
- Closing restrooms to the public to minimize high risk of infection
- Closing all bulk sections to prevent unmanageable contamination
- Requiring customers to bag their own reusable bags if using them to prevent spread of the virus
- An employee providing customers with alcohol-based hand sanitizer upon entering the store
- Hazard pay - an additional $7 an hour (half of base pay) ongoing until the state of emergency is over
- A designated point of contact at the central office who is responsible for discussing health and safety conditions with MOM’s employees
- Job protection for those on leave or displaced due to the pandemic for the duration of the crisis
- Reinstating Kaylee McGuffin who was retaliated against for speaking out about safety issues
In addition, we stand in solidarity with all Philadelphia workers calling on the city to meet the following demands:
- 2 weeks additional paid sick leave for all essential workers
- The right of workers to demand safe workplaces without retaliation
- A mayoral emergency relief fund for workers unable to access unemployment benefits such as undocumented and cash workers
- Creation of a fully-funded independent Office of Labor to enforce labor laws
We are extraordinarily grateful to MOM’s workers who have been thrust to the frontlines of a global crisis and who continue to serve their communities in this difficult time. We are thankful for our federally protected rights under the National Labor Relations Act to make our voice heard to make our workplace safer for ourselves and for our customers. We call on Scott Nash and MOM’s central leadership to live up to MOM’s core values by remembering our purpose, having the courage to grow, and changing the things they can in the name of saving lives.
For more information about hazard pay and other concerns, please check out our Instagram @momsworkers https://www.instagram.com/momsworkers/
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