WASHINGTON – The almost $600,000 settlement announced Monday between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and DeMoulas Super Markets Inc., commonly known as Market Basket, is a step forward for the safety of retail workers everywhere. The settlement requires safety fixes at all of the companys more than 60 stores across Massachusetts and New Hampshire, along with real safety programs for workers going forward.
Its critical that OSHA continues to take company-wide actions like these to protect workers, said Jackie Nowell, Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Occupational Safety and Health Office. Rather than addressing problems with employers like Market Basket piecemeal and leaving workers at risk OSHA can make real changes to systematic problems that occur across an entire company.
The enforcement action came after repeat safety violations by the company including two serious injuries to Market Basket workers in almost-identical falls from unguarded storage areas in two different stores. Workers at Market Basket dont have a union at their work, making it harder to stand up for safer stores.
This new enforcement program clearly shows that when OSHA finally gets tough with bad-actor employers, workers get better protection far faster than waiting on empty promises by corporate executives to comply with our basic safety laws, said Nowell. We hope the Obama Administration will continue using these new tools to give all workers especially the many retail workers who dont yet have a union a safe place to work.