Whole Foods workers protest Black Lives Matter mask policy

Reportedly, Whole Foods employees in Massachusetts left the supermarket in protest this week over the company’s policy that prohibits Black Lives Matter masks and equipment.

The Cambridge store manager told employees they walked in wearing masks with Black Lives Matter written on them on Wednesday that they would have to change clothes or go home, according to The Boston Globe.

More employees left again Thursday after an employee handed out masks with the words stamped on them, according to the report.

After Starbucks employees faced a similar reaction earlier this month, the company began allowing them to wear Black Lives Matter clothing and print T-shirts supporting the movement for baristas to wear.

Whole Foods employees have been sent home from across the country from New Hampshire to Washington state.

“In a customer-centric environment, all team members must adhere to our old company dress code, which prohibits clothing with visible slogans, messages, logos or advertising that are not company related,” the company said. company in a statement. “Team members who do not comply with the dress code always have an opportunity to comply. If a team member wears a face mask that is outside of the dress code, they are offered a new face mask. Team members cannot work until they comply with the policy. “

Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, has pledged $ 10 million to organizations fighting for racial justice.

“We can’t just label this and say we care and not let our own workers use things to support the movement,” Savannah Kinzer, a white employee who left the Cambridge store, told the Globe. “Until we see it as a white people problem and not as a black problem that white people have to empathize with, racism will persist.”

A statement on the company’s website says: “Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place at Whole Foods Market. We support the black community and significant change in the world. “

In Seattle, several employees who refused to work because of the mask policy stood outside the store last week yelling “Black lives matter!”

“I work at 2:30 tomorrow and if I am forced to remove my mask, I will leave immediately,” a protester told KIRO-TV in Seattle.

Employees in Philadelphia protested outside a Philadelphia store after saying they were sent home because of politics.

“Personally, what I expect from this is more worker power,” Megan Murray, who used to work at the store, told FOX 29 in Philadelphia. “We realize that if things don’t go well for us, we have the power to make that change happen.”