On Sept. 8, the UFCW condemned Amazon’s move to bring its cashierless technology to Whole Foods stores next year, increasing the threat to essential worker jobs at the grocery chain that currently employs nearly 100,000 workers. Customers who do not want to use Amazon’s cashierless technology will only be able to ring up items using self-checkout or at a customer service booth.
Amazon’s decision to expand its cashierless business model to Whole Foods comes just months after the company announced the expansion of its Amazon Fresh grocery chain and Amazon Go cashierless stores, which threaten the jobs of America’s 16 million retail workers.
“As the UFCW predicted, Amazon is bringing its ruthless anti-worker playbook, pushing automation at all costs, to its Whole Foods grocery stores with the expansion of its cashierless technology,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “With this growing job threat, those who will pay the price for Amazon’s greed are America’s essential workers and their families.”
“Our nation’s elected leaders ignored the fact that nearly 20,000 COVID infections occurred among Amazon workers at its warehouses and Whole Foods grocery stores in the first year of the pandemic,” Perrone said. “Now, where is the outcry to the fact that Amazon is pushing its job-killing cashierless technology at Whole Foods stores?”
“Make no mistake, Amazon has declared war on essential workers, and it is time for this company to be held accountable for its past, current, and future actions,” Perrone added. “Now, more than ever, it is time for our nation’s leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to wake up and act before Amazon does permanent damage to America’s economy and the future of work.”