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Amazon com : Whole Foods Changes Uniform Policy After Canada Criticism

11/06/2020 | 03:46pm

By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA--After its policy on uniforms was called "silly" by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Whole Foods Markets has reversed course and said it would allow Canadian employees to wear imitation poppies ahead of the country's Remembrance Day ceremonies.

A Whole Foods spokesperson said Friday in an email to The Wall Street Journal that following feedback from customers, its employees could wear a red poppy while at work.

"Our intention was never to single out the poppy or to suggest a lack of support for Remembrance Day and the heroes who have bravely served their country," the spokesperson said.

Whole Foods is owned by Amazon.com Inc.

Mr. Trudeau joined a handful of senior Canadian officials who issued rebukes of Whole Foods' uniform policy, which prevented workers from displaying a poppy. The grocer's dress code prohibits slogans, messages or logos that aren't company related.

Remembrance Day falls on Nov. 11 and marks the end of the first World War. There is a tradition of Canadians wearing a red poppy, which are sold by the Royal Canadian Legion to raise money for veterans.

"I think Whole Foods has made a silly mistake, and I am hoping they will correct very quickly," Mr. Trudeau said earlier in the day at a press conference.

The retailer's uniform policy has ignited legal challenges in the U.S. Lawyers for Whole Foods are trying to have a class-action lawsuit against the company dismissed, which alleges the grocer violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act when it discriminated against employees for wearing masks that showed support for Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-06-20 1545ET

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