Chicago Whole Foods Workers Stage One-Day Strike To Save Thanksgiving

Some Whole Foods workers in Chicago are staging a one-day strike today to demand a fair system of scheduling that will allow them to enjoy Thanksgiving like millions of other Americans. They’re being joined by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, OUR Wal-Mart and other community allies. Whole Foods worker Matthew Camp says retail workers are facing what he says is a disturbing trend of having to work through Thanksgiving and other holidays that used to be sacred time off to spend with family. Camp says this is why Whole Foods workers in Chicago are striking today.

“The day before Thanksgiving – which of course is an incredibly busy day for a grocery store – essentially to make these two points. One, that this tendency among large retailers is very disturbing. We feel everyone is entitled to this holiday. And secondly we include ourselves in that fist proposal. That we also, having worked so hard for the holiday, are entitled to time to travel, to see our friends, our family,” said Camp.

This strike for better schedules and holidays off is within the context of a larger struggle at Whole Foods.

“We’re organizing with the Workers Organizing Committee and the Fight For Fifteen campaign for better working conditions, a better attendance policy – we don’t have sick days at Whole Foods – and for better wages as well. That being said, this particular action the day before Thanksgiving is really something of our own design. As Whole Foods workers, we were inspired by the OUR Wal-Mart Black Friday strikes that have been going on for the past couple of years,” added Camp.

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UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.