Rally in support of Amy’s Kitchen met by counterprotesters outside of Santa Rosa factory

Friday was first time that the two opposing sides came head-to-head in large numbers, with exchanges getting heated at times.|

A rally Friday afternoon outside of the Amy’s Kitchen food processing site in southwest Santa Rosa featured about 50 green T-shirt-clad demonstrators gathered in support of the Sonoma County-based organic foods maker.

They were met by about 20 counter protesters, including current and former production line workers at Amy’s and local union representatives for the Teamsters, which is trying to organize Amy’s Kitchen workers.

Friday’s rally at the Northpoint Parkway site was organized by supporters of the company, the nation’s largest manufacturer of frozen organic foods, with 2,800 employees.

It is the latest in a series of demonstrations focused on Amy’s, including others spearheaded by labor advocates and current and former Amy’s workers calling on the company to address a number of reported workplace complaints.

Friday was first such gathering that saw the two group sides come head-to-head in large numbers, with exchanges getting heated at times as rally attendees and counter protesters yelled at each other through bullhorns.

Last month, the company was the subject of an NBC News report detailing allegations from four employees and a former worker about injuries they claimed were caused by difficult and stressful workplace conditions.

The workers said the company failed to adequately accommodate their needs after they were injured on the job. Company officials responded by saying Amy’s takes worker complaints seriously and would review the reported cases.

In the wake of the allegations, Cal/OSHA confirmed that production line worker for Amy’s had filed a formal complaint Jan. 20 asking regulators to intervene at the Northpoint Parkway facility, which employs around 630 people.

The complaint, prepared by a representative of the local chapter of the Teamsters union, argued that prior Cal/OSHA actions at the site have not led to change, and that further intervention is required.

You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or On Twitter @alana_minkler.

Alana Minkler

Breaking news & general assignment reporter, The Press Democrat

The world is filled with stories that inspire compassion, wonder, laughs and even tears. As a Press Democrat reporter covering breaking news, tribes and youth, it’s my goal to give others a voice to share these stories.

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