Whole Foods employees are not happy.
The grocery store recently implemented a series of changes built on “chastisement, punishment, and retribution” and it's not going well. Employee morale is at an all-time low, and rapid turnover is coming down the pike.
The problem seems to stem from the new order-to-shelf (OTS) program, which apparently involves a...get this...108-point checklist on which employees are scored.
According to employees who spoke anonymously with Business Insider:
The OTS program is leading to sackings up and down the chain in our region. We've lost team leaders, store team leaders, executive coordinators and even a regional vice president. Many of them have left because they consider OTS to be absurd. As an example, store team leaders are required to complete a 108-point checklist for OTS.
Many employees fear losing their jobs and the stress has become intolerable.
According to a supervisor at a Whole Foods on the West Coast:
I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory, and when regional leadership is going to come in and see one thing wrong, and fail the team. The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.
Twitter users weighed in with their own personal experiences:
Whole foods used the Survivor voted off the island method when i worked there.— freddyfred (@FreddyFelder) February 1, 2018
My poor brother is a store manager there and has worked for them 24 yrs. they are completely f@cking him over— CParks (@rainrainrain77) February 1, 2018
My local one has gotten so bad I've quit shopping there. Employees openly talk about how bad it is. So uncomfortable and sad— Shannon Storms (@mellowmell0) February 1, 2018
Many more were calling for a boycott of Amazon, which now owns Whole Foods:
I was a Amazon prime member but after watching videos and reading articles/comments from employees both (former and current), I think that I will not renew my membership with Amazon.— Lorietha Causey (@Lorietha313) February 1, 2018
We all need to put our $ where our values r. Support local biz, ♀ & minority owned biz. Not giant monopolies that do not value human beings other than as things to b exploited while overlords live in luxury.— Jenny Li (@jennyjenli) February 1, 2018
But other employees pointed out that this started long before Amazon stepped in:
This was happening 4 years ago when I worked there. I’m so glad it’s being exposed and I’m also so glad I’m no longer in that negative, sad work environment. ✌🏼— Dayna. (@spfan00) February 1, 2018
As a former employee (before Amazon bought them) the answer is yes. Whole Foods had been a terrible place to work for a long time.— Caitlin Veal (@morsmodredoctor) February 1, 2018
And there were plenty of calls for unionization:
In a surprise to no one, union-busting Bezos is now making workers at Whole Foods miserable: https://t.co/Z07D0D5nP5— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) February 1, 2018
Working class people are suffering under @JeffBezos while local governments continue to offer him their tax dollars. These workers need a union! #ThursdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/SpoAuSBJV7
Nobody should have to be abused to the point that they cry. Something has to be done. Can they walk out? Like go on strike or it’s not union?— Andrea ⚾️🐘 (@AndreaNimchuk) February 2, 2018
Your move, Mr. Bezos.