Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A petition started by a junior Walmart Inc. worker in California to protest the retailer’s sale of firearms, following two mass shootings over the weekend left 31 people dead in Texas and Ohio, has gathered more than 45,000 signatures.
Thomas Marshall, a 23-year-old category manager in San Bruno, began his protest by emailing fellow employees and asking them to call in sick on Tuesday, leave work early on Wednesday, and to sign a Change.org petition.
The petition, which is open to the public, is steadily approaching its goal of 50,000 signatures.
“In light of these recent tragedies — a mere snapshot of the gun violence epidemic plaguing the United States — and in response to Corporate’s inaction, we as employees are organizing several days of action, to protest Walmart’s profit from the sale of firearms and ammunition,” the petition says.
Marshall told Reuters he and other organizers would send the petition to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon after it reaches its target.
Marshall said he was shut out of the company’s email and messaging networks temporarily earlier this week after he started the protest, but that he has since been granted access.
Employees in San Bruno and in Portland, Ore., had walked out on Wednesday in protest of the company’s policy of selling firearms, Marshall said, adding that some Walmart employees in New York also held a minute of silence that day.