The North Carolina-based No Evil Foods presents itself as a socially-conscious, values-driven manufacturer of vegan foods. They claim to be the fastest-growing meat alternative in the country, currently available at more than 5,000 retailers. They sell products called "Comrade Cluck" and "El Zapatista." Their website boasts things like:
We offer a living wage to our employees and paid-time off for everyone, even our hourly hustlers. We support health and sustainability with our Vegan at Work & Family Meal programs and our policies reflect inclusivity and safety for all.
No Evil Foods is now coast-to-coast, leading the pack for environmentally sustainable, plant-based meats that feed and fuel the movement toward a better food system.
Unfortunately, their un-evil antics apparently end at workers rights. As Jacobin reports:
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No Evil told Reynolds he was fired for social-distancing violations, something that other workers say was a pretext for retaliating against him for organizing. Reynolds noted how other companies, such as Amazon, have used social distancing violations to target organizers. Another leader in the organizing efforts, Cortne Roche, says she was fired for dress code violations — she was told her pants were “too short” — but she too sees this as retaliation for organizing.
“I think they are full of shit,” says another ex-employee who was involved in the organizing drive and was recently fired. “It is a huge red-flag when a company uses this much left-wing imagery and has a turnover rate as high as they do.” “The owners of this company are faking progressive values harder than they are faking meat,” they added.
I've had a busy few weeks of moving and renovating my home in the middle of a pandemic while also trying to work a full-time. So naturally, I decided to relax by … making a 4-song live EP of protest songs about unions and workers, to raise money for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund for essential workers. Today in particular is not only International Worker's Day, but the music site BandCamp is also waiving their fees their day — so 100% of money you send my way for this pay-what-you-want album will go directly to workers in need.
There are worse ways to celebrate May Day, in my humble opinion.
Essential Songs for Essential Workers — Live From Quarantine [Thom Dunn / BandCamp]
Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund
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Nastaran Mohit is the organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents more than 24,000 journalists and media workers in the US and Canada. I've met her through her work with the Wirecutter Union, and she's also helped to organize workers at The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and more.
Teen Vogue recently published a great piece on Mohit, breaking down a day in her life — which is, as one might imagine, made even more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. But Nas keeps fighting the good fight, doing crucial work at a time when media layoffs are more and more common. Solidarity matters, and there is power in a union.
Nastaran Mohit: A Day in the Life of a Union Organizer [Allegra Kirkland / Teen Vogue] Read the rest
Following the smash success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Zealand's actors' union pushed for similar compensation and benefits as American actors. This detailed autopsy of how their demands were met with fierce studio lobbying that ended with politicians changing New Zealand's law in favor of the studios. Read the rest
Walmart has fought against unionization at every step of the way, including producing videos to dissuade workers from organizing. Read the rest