Costco workers in Louisville, Ky., charge the company selectively enforces an otherwise-ignored dress code to punish workers who wear Black Lives Matter apparel, BuzzFeed News reported.
One employee posted his letter of resignation to the company’s CEO online, and another started a petition that had collected over 1,000 signatures by Friday night.
After the death of George Floyd, a Black man, Costco's CEO Craig Jelinek wrote to employees that the company remained “committed to taking care of our employees, building a diverse workforce,” and “treating each other in a fair, honest, respectful and inclusive way,” the news outlet reported.
But at the Costco warehouse in Louisville, six workers were sent home for wearing Black Lives Matter masks, the news outlet reported.
In addition, five employees at Costco warehouses in Delaware, Chicago, and New Jersey have all said they were sent home or ordered to ditch BLM masks or suffer repercussions, including potential suspensions, the news outlet reported.
A letter from worker Niko Bracy that was posted to Facebook prompted Jelinek to fly from Seattle to Louisville to personally meet with workers on Thursday, BuzzFeed reported.
According to BuzzFeed News, after listening to workers’ complaints, he responded that he believes Black lives matter, but that if he permitted Black Lives Matter–related gear in the workplace, he’d also have to allow other slogans such as “All Lives Matter.”
Kirsten Doan, one of about 20 Black employees who work at Costco’s warehouse in Louisville, told the news outlet after the meeting, “I felt like an outcast. I felt harassed and discriminated against. This isn’t political. It’s personal.”
BuzzFeed reported that Cosco declined to comment.
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