People are slamming Amazon and Jeff Bezos after hundreds of part-time Whole Foods workers lose benefits 2 years after acquisition

People protesting Amazon’s plans to open a second headquarters in New York City. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers two years after its acquisition by Amazon.

On Thursday, Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that the grocery chain was cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers.

A Whole Foods representative confirmed the changes, which are to take effect January 1 and affect just under 2% of Whole Foods’ workforce. The change means that part-time workers will no longer be able to buy into medical coverage through the company.

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Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers

Whole Foods said it was making the change “to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model.”

“The small percentage of part-time team members … who previously opted into medical benefits through Whole Foods Market’s healthcare plan – less than 2% of our total workforce – will no longer be eligible for medical coverage through the company,” the Whole Foods representative said.

Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $US13.7 billion in 2017.

On social media, Amazon saw backlash for the change.^tfw^tfw

Others pointed out that while roughly 1,900 Whole Foods employees were losing their healthcare benefits, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world, worth an estimated $US114 billion.^tfw

A 15-year employee of Whole Foods told Business Insider she was devastated by the news, as her family was covered by the health-insurance plan she was enrolled in through her job at Whole Foods.

She said she would have to increase her hours to become eligible for full-time benefits and pay for childcare, or shop for a new and potentially more expensive health-insurance plan on the private marketplace. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.