Walmart corporate employee sends mass email urging workers to go on strike until the company stops selling guns

Associated PressWalmart employees gather after a shooting at the store in Southaven, Mississippi, on July 30.
  • A Walmart corporate employee on Monday sent a mass email urging workers to go on strike on Tuesday, according to a copy of the email viewed by Business Insider.
  • Thomas Marshall, who works for Walmart’s e-commerce division, is calling on workers to strike to pressure the company to stop selling guns in the wake of the shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed at least 22 people.
  • “I have no number yet as how many people will either strike all day tomorrow or walk out midday, but we have gotten a considerable amount of support already,” Marshall told Business Insider on Monday.
  • In response, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “There are many more constructive avenues for associates to offer feedback, such as email or leader conversations, and the vast majority of associates who want to share their views are taking advantage of those options. ”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Walmart corporate employee is urging workers to go on strike on Tuesday to pressure the company to stop selling guns in the wake of two deadly shootings at Walmart stores.

Thomas Marshall, a Walmart e-commerce category specialist based in the company’s offices in San Bruno, California, on Monday sent a mass email advocating a strike to the company’s entire e-commerce team, which includes thousands of people at multiple corporate offices across the country.

“In light of recent events, and in response to corporate’s inaction, we are organising a ‘sick out’ general strike to protest Walmart’s profit from the sale of guns,” Marshall wrote, according to a copy of the email viewed by Business Insider.

Walmart “has always placed its associates and customers first” but remains a top seller of firearms in the US, and “as associates, we have the power, ability, and opportunity to change this company for the better,” he wrote. “Tomorrow, Tuesday 8/6/2019, do not show up to work.”


Read more:
Walmart says it won’t change gun sales policies in wake of 2 deadly shootings at its stores

In response to the call for a strike, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “There are many more constructive avenues for associates to offer feedback, such as email or leader conversations, and the vast majority of associates who want to share their views are taking advantage of those options.”

When contacted by Business Insider, Marshall confirmed that he sent the email and said he also posted the text of the message on a Slack message board for all Walmart associates.

“I have no number yet as how many people will either strike all day tomorrow or walk out midday, but we have gotten a considerable amount of support already,” he told Business Insider on Monday.

The email cited the shooting that killed at least 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday. Another shooting, at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, last week killed two Walmart employees.

In the aftermath of the shootings, Walmart has said it has no plans to change its policies around the sales of guns and ammunition.

Read the full email that was sent to Walmart workers on Monday:

I apologise for the mass email, but this is important, and I thank you for your time.

Yesterday, 21 people were murdered at Walmart #2201 in El Paso, Texas.

In light of recent events, and in response to Corporate’s inaction, we are organising 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 organise 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.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 8/6/2019, do not show up to work.

Email or slack your manager the following message:

“Hello,

I am calling in sick.

I will not be returning to work until Walmart stops the sale of and profit from firearms.

We have one demand, and that is all.

I value Walmart and my fellow associates, but I am no longer willing to contribute my labour to a company that profits from the sale of deadly weapons.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)”

Protests, strikes, and walkouts are protected free speech; our jobs are safe under the U.S. Code ยง 12203.

A protest like this only works when all of us are involved. There is strength in our solidarity with each other and every victim of gun violence. Please tell every associate you can and help us put an end to our part in such tragedies. Even if we only strike tomorrow, our hope is that such a statement to management will be able to begin an important dialogue.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

If you’re a Walmart employee with information to share, contact [email protected].

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