A Complaint Over Working Conditions Has Been Filed Against Amy's Kitchen

On January 20, a worker at Amy's Kitchen filed a complaint with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health concerning the company's Santa Rosa, California, factory. According to Today, employee Cecilia Luna Ojeda accused the company of, among other things, not supplying clean drinking water to workers, not allowing them to use the restroom, and not equipping them with necessary training for certain tasks or the workplace with proper safety features. This follows a piece published by NBC News on January 17 that looked into how Amy's high-speed production line allegedly led to poor working conditions and employee injuries.

Amy's Kitchen disputes the allegations. "[NBC's] report does not reflect who we are as a company and the values we uphold," co-founders Andy and Rachel Berliner wrote in a letter published on the company website. "We've always recognized that making food is difficult, and our first company value, taking care of each other, means making Amy's a workplace that takes care of the whole person." The rest of the letter described how the company protected its employees, claiming that their "rate of injuries is well below others in the industry."

Reaction to the news — and the company response — has already begun on social media. "Nothing in the message speaks to how you are addressing the underlying issues that led to those employees' experiences," one person wrote on Facebook, in response to the letter. "[This] reads like a message from your PR team. Try again."

Amy's Kitchen workers are also fighting to unionize

Amy's Kitchen workers have taken their complaints to the streets as well. On January 26, plant workers protested in front an Amy's Kitchen drive-thru in Rohnert Park, California, as reported by the Press Democrat

The rally was not only a protest of working conditions but also a call by some workers to unionize, something Amy's Kitchen does not appear to support. Per NBC News, the company hired a firm that, according to workers, talked down forming a union. "We would much rather continue working and communicating with our employees directly than through a labor union or any third party," a plant manager told NBC in an email. 

It would appear that many employees do not share that sentiment. As NBC News reported, the women interviewed for the piece said a union would go a long way toward addressing the issues raised in the complaint, among others.