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    Whole Foods

March 4, 2010

Whole Foods Shareholders Taking Action on Major Corporate Governance Overhaul

(Washington, D.C.) – When Whole Foods shareholders meet on March 8, 2010, investors will consider actions that would bring greater accountability from Board members.  The actions, supported by the most influential investor advisory group, Risk Metrics/ISS, also include a proposal to require a majority vote for shareholder proposals, rather than the current supermajority.

Investors have lost 30% or more by investing in Whole Foods over the last five years. It’s time for a change. The hard work of Whole Foods’ front line workers has been continually undermined by a CEO who is out of touch with customers and is unaccountable to investors. It’s time to reform how Whole Foods is managed and supporting shareholder proposals 3-6, as recommended by Risk Metrics/ISS, will help restore confidence in this troubled company.

Whole Foods sales are lagging in part due to the antics of its CEO who, in the past year, denounced President Obama’s health care reform efforts and publicly denied the science of climate change.

If Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey spent a little less time antagonizing his best customers and more time growing the company, all of Whole Foods’ stakeholders would be better off. The company nearly doubled the number of part-time workers this year.  Why is Mackey reducing full-time workers, the very people who add value to the shopping experience.

The proposals supported by the world’s largest shareholder advisory company include proposals to require a majority vote for shareholder proposals, rather than the current supermajority and the reversal of bylaw changes which the Board passed to make it harder for shareholders to hold Board members accountable.

Proposals 3-6 would establish much needed board accountability. The path forward for Whole Foods must involve all its stakeholders, most importantly its customers, investors and associates. Passing these proposals at the March 8th shareholder will move management in a more accountable direction, and that’s what’s needed to help turn around this troubled management.

 

August 4, 2003

WHOLE FOODS CAMPAIGN GROWS

Workers at the nation’s largest natural food supermarket chain are building a movement for a voice on the job with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Workers at the store in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, filed for Labor Board election to join UFCW Local 400 on January 31, 2003. The election date has not been set.

Workers in Madison, Wisconsin kick-started the national movement by voting for UFCW Local 1444 representation on July 15, 2002. Despite Whole Foods’ stall tactics, the workers continue to bargain with them and are working toward reaching a first contract.

The Madison campaign leaders launched a website, www.wholeworkersunite.org where workers from the 142 Whole Foods stores can connect with each other and learn about taking action for a better workplace.

“”Whole Foods workers across the country saw the Madison workers stand up and realized that they could take action to make their workplace better, too. The movement is growing,”” said xxxxxx

The campaign is building momentum around the country, with Whole Foods workers connecting via the website and email to learn more about organizing for a real voice on the job.

“”Whole Foods promotes itself as a great place to work, yet management fights worker efforts to organize with a vengeance. Workers deserve to have real representation, protection and a say over workplace issues,”” said.

The UFCW represents 1.4 million members at the nation’s major supermarket, food processing and meatpacking companies. UFCW members also work in the health care, garment, chemical, distillery and retail industries.

August 4, 2003

Whole Foods Workers Rally for a Voice at Work

Rally and Press Conference on Friday, April 4, 2003 at 12:45 p.m. at the Whole Foods Market 24th Street and 7th Avenue in New York

Whole Foods workers are ready to expose the whole truth about Whole Foods Markets. “”Take a look behind the company’s ‘core values’ veneer…its high polish ‘commitment’ to team member, communities, and customers”” ask Whole Foods workers in an ad campaign hitting news stands on Friday.

Workers from Madison, Wisconsin, the first Whole Foods workers in the nation to organize with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) will lead a rally on Friday at 12:45 p.m. at the Whole Foods Market at 24th Street and 7th Avenue in New York.

Ads will debut this week in the Village Voice, the Villager and weekly newspapers in eight other major media markets. Whole Foods management promotes a set of ‘core values’ that shape the stores. Yet workers feel the company has abandoned those values and seek a voice with the UFCW to help keep the company focused on its founding principles.

Whole Foods faces unfair labor charges for its campaign to suppress worker rights in Wisconsin and Virginia. New York City union members, labor leaders and elected officials will call on Whole Foods to respect local workers and consumers by lifting up workplace standards and obeying the law.

WHO: Whole Foods workers from Wisconsin and Virginia, New York Central Labor Council President Brian McLaughlin, Councilwoman Christine Quinn

WHAT: Hundreds to Rally in Support of Whole Foods Workers Right to a Voice at Work

WHEN: Friday, April 4, 2003 at 12:45 p.m.

WHERE: Whole Foods Market at 24th Street and 7th Avenue in New York

August 4, 2003

Whole Foods Workers Tell the Whole Story about Whole Foods

Worker Voices Censored by “”Vegetarian Times””

Whole Foods workers are exposing the whole truth about Whole Foods Markets. “”Take a look behind the company’s ‘core values’ veneer…its high polish ‘commitment’ to team member, communities, and customers”” ask Whole Foods workers in an ad campaign hitting news stands on Friday.

Ads will debut this week in the leading weekly papers in New York City, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boulder, Colorado. Whole Foods workers are speaking out as part of a growing national movement for a voice with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

Whole Foods management promotes a set of ‘core values’ that shape the stores. Yet workers feel the company has abandoned those values and seek a voice with the UFCW to help keep the company focused on its founding principles.

The workers’ ad asks customers:

“”Have you ever talked with a Whole Foods worker who is trying to take the company’s glossy pronouncements seriously about respect for team members, self-direction, self-responsibility, open and timely information…workers who take the company at its word and attempt to create a quality work environment?””

Workers in Madison, Wisconsin kick-started the national movement by voting for UFCW Local 1444 representation on July 15, 2002. Despite Whole Foods’ stall tactics, the workers continue to bargain with them and are working toward reaching a first contract.

The Madison campaign leaders launched a website, www.wholeworkersunite.org where workers from the 142 Whole Foods stores can connect with each other and learn about taking action for a better workplace.

The National Labor Relations Board postponed the scheduled April 4 election at the Whole Foods store in Tyson’s Corner, Va., while it investigates charges that the company engaged in a variety of illegal activities designed to stop the employees’ organizing efforts, including:

  • Termination, surveillance and interrogation of pro-union employees.
  • Allowing anti-union literature to be circulated while at the same time blocking the distribution of pro-union literature.
  • Arbitrarily changing the schedules of pro-union employees to create hardships for working parents.
  • Illegal polling of the workers’ stance on the union through a purported “”contest,”” which awarded employees money for expressing anti-union views.

Employees at the Virginia store sought out UFCW Local 400 organizers last November over complaints of low pay and changes to health and insurance benefits, among other issues.

The growing movement of Whole Foods workers is reaching out to customers and community members for support in their effort to have a voice at work. The national newspaper ads calls on the public to email Whole Foods at rs.team@wholefoods.com and let the company know that the community supports the workers.

“”Vegetarian Times”” magazine silenced the voices of the Whole Foods employees by refusing to run the paid advertisement citing a close business and personal relationship with Whole Foods.

Whole Foods faces unfair labor charges for its campaign to suppress worker rights in Wisconsin and Virginia. New York City union members, labor leaders and elected officials will call on Whole Foods to respect local workers and consumers by lifting up workplace standards and obeying the law.

Click here to view a copy of the newspaper ad