A factory worker at an Amy’s Kitchen plant in Santa Rosa, California, filed a formal complaint with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health alleging that workers are not able to use the restroom or access clean drinking water in the course of their fast-paced shifts because of pressure to maintain line speeds.
The complaint was filed last Thursday by Cecilia Luna Ojeda, who previously spoke to NBC News about conditions at the plant that workers described as an unforgiving environment that pushed them past the point of injury. It described locked fire exits, worn-out floor mats and a lack of proper training for tasks like heavy lifting and operating heavy machinery. The complaint said workers experience hostility when they bring up safety concerns.
In an interview with NBC News, Amy’s Kitchen Chief People Officer Mike Resch disputed much of the complaint, including the detail that fire exits are locked or blocked.
“We encourage our employees to raise safety issues,” Resch added. “We at Amy’s want to be and have a safety culture, where safety is built in to the way we work and think. And we like to inspire our people to raise issues before incidents happen, so that we can address and mitigate or eliminate the risk.”
Amy’s Kitchen is one of the country’s top producers of vegetarian canned and frozen food, with about $600 million in sales in 2020, and has a reputation as a socially responsible company.