Amazon-owned Whole Foods cuts medical benefits for part-time workers

Amazon-owned Whole Foods cuts medical benefits for part-time workers

The parent company has a mixed history with its treatment of workers.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Not all is well with Whole Foods in the Amazon era. The grocery chain has confirmed to Business Insider that it’s cutting medical benefits for part-time staff who work a minimum of 20 hours per week. A spokesperson said Whole Foods was dropping the benefits as part of a move to a single part-time work structure that “better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model.” The change takes effect January 1st, 2020, and is expected to affect roughly 1,900 workers, or just short of 2 percent of the total workforce.

When asked for comment, Whole Foods didn’t address a question as to whether or not Amazon played a role in the decision. While Amazon owns Whole Foods and has made a point of integrating the two, it’s not necessarily involved in the cuts.

Whatever the involvement, the benefits reduction isn’t a great look for Amazon. Complaints about working conditions and pay have dogged Amazon for years, particularly among warehouse staff and delivery drivers. It also reflects broader gripes over pay across tech companies (and their acquisitions) — benefits are still hard to come by for many in the rank and file.

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