Labor concern for Trader Joe’s supplier

I know a lot of you guys shop at Trader Joe’s. Here’s a news story you may have missed.

In short, a teenaged girl died of heat exhaustion after picking grapes in unsafe conditions. Had her employer followed labor laws, she would probably be alive now. The company supplies Trader Joe’s with its well-known cheap wines (Two-Buck Chuck).

Details here.

As stated in the post, you can call your local Trader Joe’s and let them know you’re unhappy about the situation. I had better luck when I called their Corporate Headquarters. I asked for Customer Relations and spoke to Nikki, who assured me they were looking into it and they would make the right decision once they verified the facts. She sounded sincere, but who knows.

Anyway, if you want to call TJ’s about this, Corporate’s number is 626-599-3700. You can also write letters. They don’t have to be eloquent; just say you are upset about this incident and you think TJ’s should pull the product until the supplier obeys California labor laws. (Or even just say that this situation appalls you. The more they hear about it, the more they’ll realize people care about this issue.)

ETA: Just talked to Harvey Pozer(?) at West Coast Grape Farming Vineyard. He listened to me and said that the incident happened under one of their contractors. I told him they were still responsible for making sure the laws were obeyed, which he didn’t argue with, and he said they were all very concerned over what happened in this situation. So it’s possible there’s more facts that need to be uncovered, but clearly the situation needs to be addressed.

2 thoughts on “Labor concern for Trader Joe’s supplier

  1. Vylar, I think what happened is appalling, but I’m not sure that singling out Trader Joe’s is entirely appropriate.

    The company that makes Two Buck Chuck is Bronco Wine Company, which owns the vineyard where Maria was working.

    Here’s a list of the other brands they market under. If you hold Trader Joe’s responsible, then you would also have to hold every company that carries any of these wines as well. There’s a system wide problem.

    * Albertoni Vineyards
    * Alexander and Fitch
    * Almond Creek
    * American Airlines
    * Bad Dog Ranch
    * Bears’ Lair
    * Black Mountain
    * CC Vineyards
    * Cedar Brook
    * Charles Shaw
    * Chateau California
    * Coastal Ridge
    * Coastal Vines
    * Congress Springs
    * Crane Lake
    * Domaine Laurier
    * Domaine Napa
    * Dona Sol
    * Douglass Hill
    * Down Under
    * Estrella
    * Fat Cat
    * Forest Glen
    * Forest Hill
    * ForestVille
    * Foxbrook
    * FoxHollow
    * Glass Mountain
    * Grand Cru
    * Grove Ridge
    * Hacienda
    * Harlow Ridge
    * JW Morris
    * JFJ Winery
    * Laurier
    * Montpellier
    * Napa Creek
    * Napa Crossing
    * Napa Landing
    * Napa Ridge
    * Napa River
    * Oak Vineyards
    * Pacific Oasis
    * Quail Creek
    * Quail Ridge
    * Raymond Hill
    * Redwood
    * Rock Brook
    * Rutherford Vintners
    * Salmon Creek

    * Santa Barbara Crossing
    * Santa Barbara Landing
    * Sea Ridge
    * Silver Ridge
    * Stone Cellars
    * The California Winery
    * Thousand Oaks
    * Three Knights Vineyards
    * Trellis


  2. Oh dear. I didn’t know they made all these other wines too. Some of them are brands I’ve seen elsewhere.

    I’m glad I called Bronco Wine Company too. Although I still am glad I called Trader Joe’s; they are where I do most of my shopping and they tend to be socially responsible. So they may be able to influence the situation.


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