By Tiffany Chan

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Customers and employees could be seen boycotting side by side outside of the Cambridge Whole Foods. “We’ve been told to take our mask off or leave without pay,” said Whole Foods employee Savannah Kinver.

This is Day 18 of some employees walking off the job after being reprimanded for wearing their Black Lives Matter face masks.

Yaxeny Colon said she was told to go home early by management.

“I think they should let us support any movement that supports human rights and equal rights,” said Colon.

Even the most loyal of shoppers told WBZ-TV they’re changing their minds about the company – standing in solidarity with employees.

“I feel completely uncomfortable giving them any of my dollars, so we’ve stopped shopping here,” said Cambridge resident Vivha Pingle.

A Whole Foods spokesperson send CBS News this statement:

“In order to operate in a customer-focused environment, all Team Members must comply with our longstanding company dress code, which prohibits clothing with visible slogans, messages, logos or advertising that are not company-related. Team Members with face masks that do not comply with dress code are always offered new face masks. Team Members are unable to work until they comply with dress code.”

But one employee disagrees.

Savannah Kinver said, “We wear gay pride pins. We wear Red Sox masks. We wear Bruins masks… we’re encouraged to!”

“I can’t understand why they’re not changing this policy because it’s so small,” added Pingle.

Even though some employees are on the verge of being fired, they told WBZ-TV they’ll keep walking out and speaking out until changes are made.

Tiffany Chan

Comments (55)
  1. sara A Elkins says:

    People who shop at whole foods are the well to do that can shop anywhere at any grocery store no matter how expensive so whole Foods/amazon is taking a chance at losing their customers permanently if they do not allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter Masks.

    1. BLM is by it’s very nature Racist in itself. And if you are too blind to see that, you are part of the problem. What about Red Lives Matter (Native Americans have been abused by cops even longer than blacks) What about Yellow Lives Matter (Sex slaves from China and Thailand), What about Brown Lives Matter (Farm workers who are illegally brought into the United States) And let’s not forget all the others who were slaves and Indentured Servants which were basically slavery.

      1. Max says:

        HAve you been smoking dope? BLM is a #marxist #racist. Whole Foods is a store that sells over-priced food to people with too much money.

    2. Maxamillion#10 says:

      Are you retarded? BLM = #marxist movement that usurped the movement for political uprising.

      1. Someone from Under the Bridge says:

        Arguing on the Internet is like participating in the Special Olympics. You might win, but you’re still retarded.

    3. minbarone says:

      It’s truly sad that people can’t see BLM for what it is: a reinvention of violent 1960s radical Marxist terrorist groups under the guise of a noble cause. If I were Black, I would run as far away from BLM–the organization as possible; they will reign fire upon the entire country until the USA is destroyed. The three co-founders (co-conspirators in my view) have been working with former Weather Underground members.

      It is an organization rife with anti-white, racist propaganda.

      I weep for the future if these ideas are seen as legitimate in any way

    4. maggsms says:

      I’m not well to do at all. I shop at Whole Foods because they are inexpensive (yes, they are – I pay the same there as I would at shoprite in my area), have excellent options, it’s clean and I’ve been using the delivery service long before the covid deal because it’s awesome. I used to do resets in grocery stores, most grocery stores are really dirty, almost all of them have rats, WF is super clean compared to the others. I won’t be boycotting, I really don’t care what your mask says or doesn’t say. Your actions speak louder than words on a mask. No life matters anyway, not to the godverment. But hey, let’s keep that divide going, that’s what they want.

    5. maggsms says:

      Be happy your boss and company cares about you at all. I quit my essential business job during the covid because my boss didn’t do anything to keep us safe and he allowed customers to attack us physically and verbally. He even allowed them to continue to shop because all he sees are dollar signs, just not for his underpaid employees who take the brunt of everything all day. I’m not a fearful person but it got to the point were I was actually scared to go to work. Everyone there is constantly on edge like a lot of other employees at other shops and businesses. If not being allowed to wear a specific logo on a mask is your biggest problem at your job, you need to sit down and take a really long, hard look at yourself and who you are choosing to be.

  2. Nancy Gold says:

    The very first thing you see on the Whole Foods national website in giant letters is, “Racism has no place here.” Unless by “here” they’re referring to the website and not its stores, Whole Foods needs to stop its hypocrisy and support Black Lives. This particular Whole Foods in the story is the one I have been shopping at since they opened years ago. I’m boycotting all Whole Foods stores until they change their policy. Dress codes, like monuments, state flags and laws, can change with the times and now is absolutely the time for this one to change. If Starbucks can change its dress code and embrace what is right, then Whole Foods can.

    1. Olie Hanson says:

      BLM is a racist fascist organization that uses rioting thuggery to force their agenda. I applaud Whole Foods for banning such political posturing in their stores.

    2. nope says:

      Businesses need to stay out of politics, And people trying to force them to are the problem not the business.

    3. Tony Peteriff says:

      More “my opinion is the only one that matters” from the cancel culture. This is sickening. Businesses have the right to support or not support whatever the hell they want. They also have things like “dress codes” so if you don’t like it? Find another job snowflake.

  3. John Reinikainen says:

    Okay Whole Foods, Please stand your ground unlike the mayors and Governors across the country.
    You have a dress code and if every other human being on earth wanted to wear their own attire and not what is required you’d have a bunch of confused customers, as they would not know who to talk to that is employed at that store.
    Okay plain and simple people: wear a bathing suit to work why not?, wear pajamas, of course you can’t but you can go to Walmart wearing them but not as an employee. See people, this is the real world of employment and if you don’t like it there are plenty of jobs out there, right? NOT! This employer gives you a paycheck right? Yo can always go and protest at another place who doesn’t pay you.

  4. Paul Rodgers says:

    A company CAN set guidelines on masks for their employees if they choose to do so, just as they can for any aspect of a dress code. If you actually visit the BLM web site and READ their agenda you might understand why an employer might object. But to be fair, then ALL political / social agenda masks should be banned.

  5. stonehillady says:

    If you don’t comply to a dress code, you don’t have to work there. What’s the problem ? If I was a wholefood manager I would have the masks say “Whole Foods” and that would solve the issue. Politics has no place in the work force.

  6. bert says:

    why is it all i ever see at these blm deals are white people?

  7. d0ct0rj says:

    They really *should* allow people to support organizations which support human rights and equal rights. That’s why they don’t support BLM…

  8. Martin Weiss says:

    Maybe the employees hoping to be fired for not wearing their masks should be reminded that when you are fired for cause (not a layoff), you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

  9. LA NUKKA says:

    BLM is a POLITICAL MOVEMENT that is using the race/social cause “issue” to use people to enforce their agenda, which is to dismantle capitalism and replace it with communism. This has nothing to do with equality or race. Mob/Thug Rule

    1. A Voice says:

      So many people so blind to the true nature of BLM. Unfortunately the have become a terrorist organization just like Antifa. Both are supported by Soros and the super-rich.

      If employees want to wear BLM masks they can do it on their own time.

      I support Whole Foods decision on BLM Mask Ban.

      Amazing though how effectively those in control (the super rich) manage to continuously create ways to divide us. As things are going they will get their one world dictatorship. United we can stop them.

  10. Bryan S says:

    Congrats Whole Foods for having a backbone.

  11. Anne Plaks says:

    BLM is a lie to begin with. BLM is really not about race. It’s about dividing people. Mostly made up of violent black and white people who hate America and want to destroy things and people. Very organized, getting paid. Many blacks don’t agree with their behavior and many are deceived. Very sad to witness this. I don’t think GF is really dead. All crisis actors just to get this thing going. Tattoo on his chest meant “Order out of chaos” Get it? Fake video, fake family, fake news! Where do you go? Stuck listening to these lies daily.

  12. CWM in Texas says:

    People should leave their religious and political opinions at the door when at work.
    I fully support the employer.

    BLM is a Marxist radical organization that must lie to hide their real agenda!

  13. Terrence says:

    Whole Foods has a policy regarding this. Period…
    As several people say in the comments, if you don’t like it then you have the power to quit and find an employer that will coddle you. They have a statement on their website and that is their stance, why is that not enough? Stop being such a baby and do the job you get paid to do. So Ridiculous…Whole Foods know there are plenty of people out there that want to actually put in a hard days work and get paid so Im sure they are not too worried about it.

  14. Miguel says:

    They are gonna lose way. More customers if they allow these masks than if they ban them!!

  15. Yosemite says:

    Do other employers allow BLM facemasks? Is this really what BLM is fighting for – the right to wear a logo’d Facemask? Losing your job at Whole Foods because you are drawing a line in the sand about your Facemask? Have these people gone mad? When you are not the boss you do not get to set the rules.

  16. hymie porkensteen says:

    Fuk BLM corn holes, they don’t matter to me and to the neegers that kill neegers daily all over the democrat controlled states and cities.. fuk those criminal animals

  17. Bill Hooper says:

    I am fine with them wearing their racist gear if they do not mind me wearing my Blue Lives Matter gear. I support the cops.

  18. Bill Jefferson says:

    Cop Lives Matter
    Baby Lives Matter

    1. Martini Maker says:

      I like martinis. Black olives matter.

  19. Bill Jefferson says:

    Burn Loot Murder is the fascist brownshirt division of the democRat Nanzi Party.

  20. Fred Ferkle says:

    What a joke. Pampered little people can’t get their way and they expect the elitist shoppers at Whole Foods to support them and go shop with the unwashed?
    Wah Wah Wah!Gymyny

  21. Bruce Nicklin says:

    Time to fire some employees. They work for a company. When they work against the company they should be shown the door so they can find a new company that desires to be Black Mailed.

  22. soylentgreentea says:

    If your employer has a policy which says employees cannot express political opinion at work, then either DON’T or go get another job. All these snowflake wilting lilies….

  23. uglyuglytruth says:

    There are no rights for employees to advertise political leanings while on the clock and in the store. For the morons suggesting the store should allow them to wear politically charged material, do you also support the rights of employees to wear confederate flag, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA, and Pro-Life masks? If not, why the double standard?

    If the employees want to support a divisive, racist, marxist group like BLM, that’s great–they should. That does not mean they must be paid to force me to look at their political garbage.

  24. Ken Schuhmann Jr. says:

    Now I want to shop there.

  25. John Austin says:

    How about wearing an anti-abortion mask? That’s a human rights movement.

    1. Dan Meyers says:

      Just imagine these pro-aborts flipping out over a pro-life mask.

  26. drdanmeyers says:

    Simple Answer: “We don’t allow political masks to be worn by employees.” Would these employees mind if their fellow employees wore Trump 2020 masks? Yes they would “because Trump is a nazi and a racist.” Next real simple step: “If you don’t like our no political mask policy then STFU and EFF off. You’re fired!”

  27. Steve Carrroll says:

    I’m sure there are plenty of people who who gladly take those jobs.

  28. Ken says:

    BLM masks are the modern day swastikas. They are a SYMBOL of HATE.

  29. Happy Zahn says:

    Its a dress code. Good for whole foods trying to support all lives instead of just one racist group. The suggestion of just wearing a whole foods mask is great. You want to really support a cause: spend your money and free time to help that community. I see a lot of people marching around and yelling. I see few people who are actually volunteering their free time and rolling up their sleeves to actually make things better. Get out there and do some positive stuff!

  30. Lar Jam says:

    Companies are allowed to tell their employees what they can and cant wear to work. Employees wearing political statements can harm their business. Any business owner should be pro capitalism. Allowing employees to “Resist” as Hillary says then fire them if they refuse to comply.

  31. Mark Riggan says:

    im sure that wearing a MAGA hat would have gotten the same by Whole Foods. they dont have to make a political statement or stand and neither do the employees on company time

  32. stevehogan2013 says:

    Try wearing a Trump 2020 mask and see how long you last.

  33. scott saks says:

    Fire the employees that demand to wear these Black Lives Matter Masks.
    The company policy is clear. This is out of control and if the company caves it will lose many more customers as it is very wrong for any employee to support any group while on the clock.

  34. Johnny Blade Clark says:

    BLM is a hate filled terrorist organization. Keep their trash masks out of public sight.

  35. Bjorleif Blank says:

    Employees should be allowed to wear whatever slogan they want – in their free time. When working for another company, it is only natural that they do not wear slogans. The same rules apply in MANY jobs where emplyees are the face of the company.

  36. Ted Crunch says:

    Is there anything which people wont squabble over? A few months ago, masks weren’t a part of our lives but since they have become a part, people are now arguing and fighting over them. It’s the people that are the problem, not the masks, and not the store. If a business doesn’t want controversial apparel in their store, they are entitled to ban them. And if the employees and shoppers don’t like that, let them simply go somewhere else. This is all so childish!

  37. panbk says:

    BLM was found by Marxists based on a lie (like all of Marxism).

  38. A Voice says:

    So many people so blind to the true nature of BLM. Unfortunately they have become a terrorist organization just like Antifa. Both are supported by Soros and the super-rich.

    Amazing though how effectively those in control (the super rich) manage to continuously create ways to divide us. They play the race card, the religion card, the left/right/Democrat/Republican card, the gender card, the country card, the LBTQ card, the so-called covid-19 pandemic card – anything to divide us, to create fear! They are playing us! Don’t play their game. As things are going they will get their one world dictatorship. Only united can we stop them.

    If employees want to wear BLM masks they can do it on their own time. it’s their right.

    I support Whole Foods decision on BLM Mask Ban in their store. It’s their right!

  39. STOIC says:

    You can take your mask and shove it up yourass

  40. jnobfan says:

    BLM is NOT about free anything they are Marxists

  41. Wade says:

    If this is bizarre go read about what blm students are trying to do at Pitt’ University.

  42. scott says:

    i agree with the store i would be offended to see that on store employees i am glad they are doing this thanks Whole foods !

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