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February 25, 2020

UFCW Statement on Amazon Cashierless Grocery Store Opening

America’s Largest Grocery Union Slams Cashierless Model that Discriminates Against Low-Income Shoppers, Hurts Customer Service, and Threatens Good Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) announced its strong opposition to Amazon’s opening of a new cashierless grocery store in Seattle. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“Amazon represents a clear and present danger to millions of good jobs. The brutal truth is that Amazon is focused on one thing – eliminating as many jobs as possible to enrich one multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos. Despite the failure of their Amazon Go stores, it is clear that Bezos is determined to pursue a ruthless strategy that is designed to destroy millions of grocery worker jobs.

“At a time when millions of Americans are already struggling, when most Americans are one paycheck away from disaster, what does it say that Bezos wants to create stores that serve food and groceries and eliminate the jobs real people need. Now, more than ever, it is time for our nation’s leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to wake up and act before Amazon and Jeff Bezos do permanent damage to America’s economy and the future of work.”

“Make no mistake, the UFCW will make sure that Amazon’s ruthless business model is a 2020 election issue. Every voter – and every candidate running for office – will be made aware that they have a choice to make: support good jobs or support Amazon’s destruction of jobs.”

Background:

As reported by CNBC, Amazon is continuing its ruthless strategy to take over America’s $800 billion grocery industry. Today, less than three years after purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon is opening its first, full-size, cashierless grocery store. It uses the same technology from the Amazon Go stores that have faced a national backlash from customers and lawmakers who say it discriminates against low-income shoppers and threatens good jobs.

Amazon Go stores have failed to meet lofty predictions and are unlikely to deliver the $639 million in 2020 sales the company promised. Additional reports show Amazon Go stores’ operating losses are still ballooning. And since purchasing Whole Foods, the grocery chain was the only Amazon division to report a sales slowdown during the fourth quarter.

Amazon could also be looking to scale its cashier-free technology to other retailers and chains such as movie theaters and airports, threatening many of the jobs in these industries as well.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.