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Homegrown delivery workers take one-day strike action against invasive surveillance cameras

By staff |
August 21, 2022
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Homegrown delivery workers stand up for their rights.
Homegrown delivery workers stand up for their rights. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Seattle, WA - Workers at the Homegrown distribution center began a 24-hour strike on August 17 over invasive surveillance cameras, kicking off strike votes at other locations of the company.

Workers at Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches went public with a union campaign on June 3 and have been fighting for recognition ever since - escalating from delegations to pickets and, as of Wednesday morning, strike action. In response to organized workers, the company installed high-tech facial recognition cameras in delivery trucks, designed to intimidate drivers. Drivers and packers showed they wouldn't be intimidated, by walking off their 5 a.m. shift and on to the picket line.

"We want to be respected as human beings. We want respect while we're at work, like getting rid of cameras that watch our every move,” said Star Bell, a packer at the wholesale distribution site. As workers from UPS to Amazon have been organizing against surveillance on the job, this one-day work stoppage marks the country’s first strike against surveillance cameras. From the picket line, workers shouted “Good morning, Homegrown! Good luck working on your own!” and “Quit spying, Homegrown!”

Workers at Homegrown’s retail cafes - which management has tried and failed to keep separate from the wholesale production and distribution drivers at the company - also voted to authorize one-day strikes this week. So far workers at four out of the ten Homegrown cafes voted overwhelmingly to strike, with issues ranging from extreme heat at the Mercer Island location to extremely hazardous air quality due to smoke at the Redmond store.

Workers are organizing for a $20 per hour, tip transparency, healthcare and paid time off. In the face of disrespect, intimidation and retaliation from management, workers at Homegrown are showing they won't back down, and will fight to win respect and livable wages.

All power to the workers!