EUGENE, Ore. -- Employees at Market of Choice have walked off the job as a sign of solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
KEZI 9 News talked to two employees who work at the location on Green Acres Road in Eugene. They said they walked out because their human resources department and the store manager told them to take off masks that said Black Lives Matter on them.
Market of Choice / Facebook
Madeline Ritchie said there is a lot of confusion about where the company stands because Market of Choice released a statement claiming they support the movement.
"It was very important to us that we too support the movement and that we support the Black community in Oregon and the United States," Ritchie said. "It's really important as allies we show we support the Black community."
After hearing the news employees could not wear Black Lives Matter masks, dozens of employees walked off the job across the state including at stores in Corvallis, Eugene, and Portland. Ritchie said some assistant managers resigned as well.
A petition is circulating online in support of wearing the masks, and at last check, it has over 1,000 signatures.
KEZI reached out Market of Choice's Corporate office for comment but we have not heard back.
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This has been a difficult time for our nation and our community. I am saddened by the recent events, which weigh heavily on all of us. It is heartbreaking. Racial bias of any kind is unacceptable, and we must take steps to eradicate it from our communities. At Market of Choice, we stand with the Black Community. We believe Black Lives Matter. We support our Black Team Members, Customers and Vendors and do not tolerate racial bias, discrimination or injustice at our stores or in our communities. Some of you have, no doubt, experienced injustices because of the color of your skin, the language you speak, the religion you practice or the people you love. For that, I am genuinely sorry. Now is the time to write the final chapter of a dark history of systemic, nationwide problems and create a new story based on equality and civil rights. Our company is actively learning ways for us to take action. These steps will be in response to this historic movement, so we want to be intentional with our choices. There is an urgency across the nation to do more. Our country can do better. Our state can do better. We will do better. Sincerely, Rick Wright, CEO Market of Choice
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