Seven employees of the Cambridge, Massachusetts chain store posed in a photo on Wednesday that they posted on Twitter, in which they said that Whole Foods cares “about the things their racist customers give them more than spreading a peaceful but important message.” Employees say the protest was in response to the store manager’s decision not to let them carry the equipment.
In response to the manager’s decision, Whole Foods said in a statement that all employees “must abide by our long-standing corporate dress code, which prohibits clothing with slogans, messages, logos or visible advertising that are not related to the business. ”
“Team members whose masks do not comply with the dress code are always offered new masks,” said a spokesperson for Whole Foods. “Team members cannot work until they comply with the dress code. ”
The Boston Globe first signaled the exit.
Although Whole Foods does not allow employees to visibly support the Black Lives Matter movement during their work, Amazon explicitly stated these three words in a press release earlier this month.
“Black lives matter. We stand with our black employees, customers and partners, and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live in dignity and be free from fear, “Amazon wrote on June 3. announced a $ 10 million donation to social justice organizations.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed similar sentiments on his Instagram account in response to an email from a customer saying “All lives matter.” Whole Foods also has a statement on its home page saying it supports “the black community and significant change in the world.”
Starbucks also banned employees from wearing Black Lives Matter clothing before reversing their decision earlier this month. The coffee chain sent 200,000 T-shirts with the phrase displayed on the shirt.
In a statement, Starbucks said it was “essential to support the” Black Lives Matter “movement as its founders wanted and will continue to work closely with community leaders, civil rights leaders, organizations and our partners to understand the role that Starbucks can play, and to present themselves in a positive way for our communities. ”
The movement gained momentum after the death of George Floyd in police custody in May, sparking nationwide protests for racial equality and police reform.