Why The Closure Of An Amy's Kitchen Factory Is Raising Questions

Amy's Kitchen is best known for its quick organic meals that often cater to vegetarian and gluten-free diets. They offer a range of soups, frozen meals, and frozen pizzas. The company began in 1987, per their website, and has grown to sell over 250 products in 30 different countries.

Amy's Kitchen has previously come under fire for reports of unsafe working conditions at their Santa Rosa location. Workers were reportedly under-trained once hired into the factory and did not have regular access to bathroom breaks, according to NBC News. They were also reportedly penalized and even laid off for taking time off for medical procedures.

Now, the imminent closure of an Amy's Kitchen plant in California is raising questions about workplace safety and the real reason behind what prompted the shutdown. In an interview with Eater, six employees detailed the plant's working conditions and the lack of response from the company.

Employees were working to unionize

Amy's Kitchen announced on July 18 that they would be shutting down their San Jose plant, which opened less than a year ago, to cope with demand, per Eater. Employees at the plant reportedly experienced several hazardous working conditions, and workers were in the midst of working to unionize when the closure was announced.

Several employees reportedly say they sustained injuries on the job due to malfunctioning machines and even say they were penalized for taking time off work to recover. Employees stated they did not have access to regular bathroom and water breaks and had complained to their HR department about sexual harassment and violent incidents between employees.

The San Jose plant, which specialized in frozen pizzas, employed 331 workers, according to Silicon Valley, with 173 of those employees working as manufacturing workers. The plant will close on September 16, a decision that "blind-sided" employees, according to a statement from Unite Here! Local 19.