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On June 19th 2020 (Juneteenth), Westlake (Seattle) Whole Foods Market workers adorned Black Lives Matter masks as a harmless act of solidarity with the Black community against racial injustice, police brutality and anti-black violence. Whole Foods Market management swiftly took action against workers, claiming the masks were controversial even though the store displayed Pride flags as an act of solidarity with the LGBTQIA community. When a worker stated the inconsistency, management removed the Pride flag as well in an act of "neutrality". Their actions are indicative of a disconnect from their patrons and a lack of regard for the community at large. Whole Foods Market is branded in a way that implies solidarity, with their website stating, "Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place at Whole Foods Market. We support the Black community and meaningful change in the world", however, actions speak louder than words. 

Yes, Whole Foods Market states that “Team Members must wear WFM shirts/tops without any visible slogan, message, logo or advertising on them.” WFM also states that “TMs deserve to address the store about changing policy,” and that “creative TMs are always trying to imagine a better store.” This situation is no different, as we are imagining and seeking to create a better store. The vast majority of customers and Team Members are surprised to learn that Whole Foods Market is not allowing their employees to express BLM, given how essential expressing, let alone having the freedom to express, BLM is right now. This reaction is overwhelmingly consistent and evident that Whole Foods Market is failing to meet both their customers’ and employees’ expectations. Furthermore, if Whole Foods Market truly strives to see themselves as “part of a larger community whose welfare and long term survival are unalterably linked,” then they must listen to and validate what the larger community continues to say. If Whole Foods Market listens to their communities, and sets the standards for excellence, now is the time to demonstrate it.


Whole Foods Market workers are calling for tangible change in the form of the demands below:

1) Freedom of Speech: The right to show solidarity with BLM without retaliation. 

2) Back Pay of the lost wages for workers who missed shifts for supporting BLM

3) Ridding the Store of Armed Guards


Whole Foods must not value neutrality over their employees' voices, supporting the minority communities who visit their stores, and the larger community as a whole.

Sign this petition and join us in solidarity for our Black and POC essential workers.


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