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Nearly 2K Whole Foods Workers May Lose Benefits

Employees will have to work 30 hours for health care coverage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2019 4:31 PM CDT
A Whole Foods customer removes a grocery bag from a child's shopping cart.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – Whole Foods, the grocery chain owned by Amazon, is cutting health care benefits for its part-time workers, a move that could leave about 1,900 of its employees without medical coverage. Starting next year, Whole Foods employees have to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify for its health care benefits, up from the 20 hours a week it currently requires, the AP reports. The grocer, which has about 95,000 workers, says it's making the change "to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model." Online shopping giant Amazon bought Whole Foods two years ago for nearly $14 billion, cutting prices on some items and adding its smile logo to aisles.

Criticism came quickly to social media, per Business Insider, with many posts noting that Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. A 15-year Whole Foods employee said she'll have to work more hours or buy a private insurance plan to cover her family. It was just last month, the Verge points out, that Amazon joined other corporations in announcing they would not focus solely on serving shareholders anymore, but would act for the good of employees and communities as well.

(Read more Whole Foods stories.)

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