June 14, 2013
Albuquerque, New Mexico – Just minutes after an online boycott petition exceeded its 15,000th signer, Whole Foods Market Co-Ceo announced that the company had reconsidered its language policies and was removing provisions requiring employees to speak “English-only” in its stores.
On Thursday, June 13th, activists from MoveOn.org delivered a petition started by ProgressNow New Mexico to Whole Foods Headquarters in Austin to demand that the company end their “English-only” policy in stores. Since started a week ago more than 15,000 signers joined the boycott of Whole Foods Markets after two employees, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said they were suspended for complaining to a manager about a reprimand they had received for speaking Spanish to each other while on the job.
After the Associated Press reported that a Whole Foods’ regional marketing coordinator said, “Team Members must speak English to customers and other Team Members while on the clock,” Whole Foods posted a statement online saying they were reviewing their policies. Whole Foods Markets has yet to share copies of their original or revised policies despite growing national attention to the boycott.
Conservatives and progressives alike, including New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Julio Ricardo Varela and Ruben Navarrette, have joined the cause calling on Whole Foods Markets to review and revise their policy.
“We are thankful that the company listened to its customers and was willing to revise its policies to reflect the growing diversity of our communities,” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive advocacy organization based in Albuquerque.
“This action shows just how effective grassroots voices can be to effect change,” says Marsha Garcia of ProgressNow NM. “We are thankful to our partners at MoveOn.org, and others like LULAC and the ACLU who supported the call for action, whose collective championing of the cause was directly noted by Whole Foods as the catalyst for change.”
For more information or for interviews, please contact Marsha Garica (505) 916-1095 or by email at Marsha@ProgressNowNM.org.