Whole Foods Ain’t That Great to Its Employees

Nicole AschoffWhole Foods workers are better off than many retail and fast food workers. Permanent, full-time employees earn considerably more than minimum wage, and both part-time and full-time workers receive health insurance: part-timers working at least twenty hours a week can buy full-cost coverage after working 400 hours, and full-timers can get lower-cost coverage after working 800 hours. Executive pay is kept in check, relative to other major corporations, and the management structure is more horizontal than vertical. However, wages for many Whole Foods employees fall far below a living wage. Cashier wages range between $8 and hour to $14 for permanent employees, while workers in other parts of the store make between $10 and $15 an hour. Despite its claims that Whole Foods honors all stakeholders, many team members including full-time workers, are forced to rely on food stamps, and a recent study found that 17% of Whole Food’s Massachusetts employees are enrolled in Medicaid.

—Nicole Aschoff
The New Prophets of Capital

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