Featured question

Did Amy’s coordinate the recent pro-Amy’s rallies featuring employees?

No. Employees’ rallies in support of Amy’s were coordinated by Santa Rosa employees on their own time.

For those who don’t know the back story: while perhaps a handful of employees may be interested in union membership, a majority of the other 500 people at the Santa Rosa plant haven’t asked for that – and have loudly indicated that they don’t want that. In fact, large numbers of employees on their own time recently assembled pro-company rallies against the union – disagreeing with the union’s claims and insulted at what is being said about their company.

How much do Amy’s Kitchens production employees earn?

Most Amy’s production employees in Santa Rosa, for example, generally earn from $40,000 to more than $75,000 on a full-time basis, before overtime and based on their roles and experience – and in addition to our generous benefits package that is designed to keep our employees and their families physically, emotionally and financially healthy. In addition, we invest $17,500 per employee per year in health care benefits.

 

How does Amy’s safety record compare to others?

Amy’s safety record at our facilities is 2x to 3x better than industry averages, according to government records.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2020, the latest data publicly available at this time, the general categories of Food Manufacturing (NAICS 311) recording an incident rate of 5.1 per 100 full-time employees – and the subcategory of Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing (NAICS  311911) posted an incident rate of 7.2 per 100 FTEs.

 According to our latest records, Amy’s Kitchen Santa Rosa plant posts a recordable injury rate of 2.3 – which is much better than the government’s averages.

How is the pace of production work determined at Amy’s?

Amy’s currently creates about 200 products in our kitchens, ranging from soups to burritos to bowls to pizzas, and more. Individual production line speeds are based on many factors such as the product being prepared, the equipment required, the number of employees available that day, and safety factors for the work involved. The maximum line speeds are not allowed to be exceeded.

How does the safety rate at Amy’s Santa Rosa plant compare with other companies?

Safety is a top priority across Amy’s. Last year our Santa Rosa plant had a recordable rate less than half of the industry standard. We continue to invest in safety projects and training to support the health of our employees.

Does Amy’s provide water for employees?

Absolutely. Drinking water is available throughout the plants to ensure employees stay hydrated.

Can production-line workers use the bathroom during their shifts?

Of course. We want our employees to be as comfortable as possible. Employees have breaks during the first half and second half of their shift, and a meal break in the middle of the shift. If employees need to use the restroom outside of these breaks, they can do so with a lead or other breaker taking their place if they are a production line employee.

If someone has a situation where he or she may need to use the restroom frequently, we accommodate those needs as necessary.

Are the on-site health clinics used to treat injuries at work?

No. Amy’s operates healthcare clinics adjacent to our locations so that our employees and their families can get the care they need and deserve at no cost. They are not used – and have never been used – to care for employees who are injured at work. We utilize specialized occupational health providers if any employees are injured or need attention at work.

Were employees really picketing recently in front of an Amy’s facility in California?

Yes – A union and its supporters first held a brief picket in front of our Santa Rosa facility in February, publicizing various complaints. Then on two occasions, much larger groups of employees held their own rallies in support of the company to counter things said by the union. (Amy’s had no role in orchestrating or coordinating any of these employee efforts.)

Our employees continue to speak out on their own in support of the company through letters-to-the-editor, social media comments and other forums, and we respect all employees’ voices. While we are always learning and take all opportunities to improve seriously, we appreciate the confidence we’ve earned with so many employees over the years as we work to maintain our family culture, our values and our commitments to each other.

Are any of Amy’s workers unionized?

No. None of our employee groups have chosen to be unionized – and we respect their personal choices.

Is Amy’s anti-union?

No. As a proudly independent, family-owned organic food company, we value individual rights and freedoms. We respect our employees’ choices and their rights regarding union representation – whether yes or no. We believe someone’s freedom to say no should be just as respected as their right to say yes.

What actions has Amy’s taken since the recent allegations were made?

While we recognize these allegations are being driven by an organized campaign led by a union, we still take any allegation regarding employee safety seriously. When we learned of the allegations, we took immediate action. We first conducted our own internal audit around the allegations. We then completed a robust wall-to-wall, third-party audit that looked closely at our safety record, disability program and employee experience. This included a 3-day onsite audit, conversations with over 50 workers, and an extensive review of our safety record. 

We also proactively reached out to Cal OSHA and invited them to visit our plant.

While not connected to the allegations, we also began a long-planned all-company listening session program with our CEO, Andy Berliner. He plans to have met with all 2,700 Amy’s employees by the end of the summer.

What did Amy’s learn from these audits and internal reviews?

.We found many of the recent allegations to be outright false, extreme exaggerations, or connected to issues that have been resolved many years ago. For example:

  • The allegations stated we don’t provide water to our employees. Our internal audit found we have 16 water stations located throughout the plant.
  • The allegations mentioned a burrito pedal that had to be repeatedly pressed. This pedal was automated 8 years ago.
  • The allegations said we don’t give employees breaks during the day. The third-party audit found that employees have numerous breaks and time for meals and rest during the day.
  • The allegations stated we fired an employee with an injury. This employee is still employed by Amy’s.

During this review and through the third-party audit, we did find some new opportunities for improvement. For example:

  • We can do a better job of educating our employees on how to use the confidential hotline.
  • We had several eyewash stations where the water pressure was lower than it was supposed to be.
  • COVID-19 had prevented some of our normal chat sessions where we hear from employees.

 

Would Amy’s close a facility if employees chose to unionize?

No. As a proudly independent, family-owned organic food company, we value individual rights and freedoms. We respect our employees’ choices and their rights regarding union representation. As such, we absolutely will not close any facility simply because employees choose to pursue their rights regarding unionization – whether yes or no.

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