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Retail Workers Take Fight For $15 Wage To Whole Foods

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Cashier Matthew Camp leads the demonstration outside the Whole Foods in Lake View. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Cashier Matthew Camp leads the demonstration outside the Whole Foods in Lakeview. (Credit: Steve Miller)

CHICAGO (CBS) – About 15 employees of Whole Foods – and a few dozen supporters – demonstrated outside the Whole Foods store on Halsted Street in Lakeview on Wednesday, calling for better pay, and an end to what they believe is unfair policies.

“Every day, it’s like living on the edge of a razor coming here,” said Matthew Camp, who has worked as a cashier at the store for two years.

WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports Camp wants a higher salary, but said he’s most upset about the a company policy which adds points to a worker’s tally every time he or she takes a sick day, is late more than seven minutes, or commits other infractions.

Camp said a sick day is one point, being late is half a point, and any employee who totals up six points is fired.

“Some of the top three categories: for items that are rung up, for customer account, and for store sales, on a daily basis. And yet, no consideration is given to me – the effort and time I put into this company – when it comes to the points system,” Camp said.

He and other workers said they found out about the points system after they were hired.

The protest was part of a nationwide fight for a $15 per hour wage and better working conditions at retail stores and fast food restaurants. Protesters included workers from McDonald’s, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panda Express, Portillo’s, CVS, Walgreens, Sears, Macy’s, and several other retail chains.

The protesters also planned rallies on Thursday at several downtown fast food stores and retailers.

Whole Foods has released a statement which says, in part, “Our team members receive competitive pay and benefits, some of which are extraordinary in the supermarket industry.”

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