Approximately 40 Walmart employees walked out of a California e-commerce outlet in protest because the chain sells guns. But despite the protest, the store says it will not stop selling guns and related supplies.
According to the Washington Post, the employees reportedly staged a walkout over the El Paso shooting in which more than 20 people were murdered and many more injured.
Walmart employee Thomas Marshall told the paper that he and his co-workers “no longer want to be complicit by working for a company that profits off the sale of firearms.”
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Marshall also insisted that Walmart should bend to the will of activist employees for “positive change.”
“We are all concerned employees, and Walmart says it values the outlook of its employees,” Marshall exclaimed. “We feel as if we can make a noticeable difference.”
The anti-gun activist also urged all Walmart employees everywhere to stage similar protests.
The protest leader said he also sent an email to Walmart reading:
In light of recent events, and in response to Corporate’s inaction, we are organizing a “sick out” general strike to protest Walmart’s profit from the sale of guns.
Walmart is a company that has always placed its associates and customers first, and we have recently made great strides toward fostering a safe, inclusive, and progressive community. Last year, Walmart raised the minimum age to buy a firearm or ammunition from 18 to 21 and removed products resembling assault-style rifles from its inventory. Walmart is still, however, the single largest retailer of firearms in the United States.
We have made great strides already, but now we must organize to shape this company into a place we can all be proud of. As associates, we have the power, ability, and opportunity to change this company for the better.
A mall handful of other Walmart outlets also saw employee protests. But the movement was not widespread.
Regardless, Walmart noted that it will continue selling guns and related supplies for now, and no change in policy is anticipated. On Monday, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said that the company is not considering changing the policies.
“There’s been no change to our policy regarding firearms,” Hargrove told NBC News. “Our focus has been on our associates and the entire El Paso community.”
Walmart is the biggest retailer of firearms in the U.S., and recently raised the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 years of age.
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