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Oct 31, 2020
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Workers at an Illinois distribution center for candy maker Mars Wrigley have been demanding the company provide hazard pay and improve safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mars Wrigley produces popular candies like Twix, Skittles, and M&M's. Ahead of this Halloween, the National Confectioners Association reported a 25% increase in chocolate sales.

Michael Samuel, a former worker at the Mars warehouse in Illinois, told Business Insider supervisors reprimanded him for taking extra time to wipe down equipment. Samuel helped get 100 signatures in a petition for safer working conditions before being fired on October 1, he said.

Mars declined to comment on the claims regarding working conditions in its Joliet, Illinois, warehouse because it said the workers are employed by third-party firms XPO Logistics and DHL.

"They are not employed by Mars Incorporated," said Caitlin Kemper, external affairs manager at Mars, regarding Samuel and his colleagues.

DHL refuted "any allegations of unfair labor practices," but declined to comment further due to an ongoing NLRB complaint regarding the Joliet warehouse. XPO Logistics spokesperson Joe Checkler said the company's "primary focus is the health and safety of our employees."

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