One of Silicon Valley’s most influential companies is taking a stand against President Trump.
On Tuesday, according to Bloomberg, Facebook announced that its employees would be permitted to take time off to attend protests of Trump’s immigration policies on May 1, also known as International Workers’ Day.
In an emailed statement, a spokesman for the company said:
‘At Facebook, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up. We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.’
The spokesman explained that Facebook employees were notified about their ability to join in on the protests without the risk of losing their jobs on April 14 and went on to say that, to take things a step further, the company also plans to reconsider ties to vendors that “break the law that protects workers’ rights to organize and protect themselves.”
Derecka Mehrens, a co-founder of the union-back Silicon Valley Rising, told Bloomberg that immigrants, regardless of their job title, “play a critical role in the tech sector” and emphasized the importance of allowing all employees to protest.
‘It’s important not just to the engineers and H-1B holders that are traditionally thought of as the immigrants in tech but also to folks who are subcontracted but work side-by-side on those campuses. Immigrants play a critical role in the tech sector — both as engineers and coders but also in keeping tech campuses running smoothly.’
It’s an important statement that Facebook is making, although not necessarily a surprising one, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been very vocal in his criticisms of President Trump’s immigration policies. Shortly after President Trump signed his first executive order on immigration, which ended the refugee resettlement program and blocked immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Zuckerberg wrote a lengthy Facebook post expressing his concerns.
Zuckerberg specifically wrote about the fact that “the United States is a nation of immigrants” and emphasized the importance of keeping the country safe by “focusing on people who actually pose a threat.”
His full post can be read below.
Zuckerberg received a significant amount of backlash for his statement, and his company will surely face more leading up to May 1. Already, several Twitter users, in response to the company’s announcement, have called for protests of Facebook.
Facebook allows staff to join anti-Trump protests on May 1 https://t.co/uppgOp3QZF
Get off Facebook NOW!
— Christopher J (@christopherjmi) April 18, 2017
Facebook going all out FASCIST now. https://t.co/eZH8VPhFq6
— NoToTheMark (@ljcambria) April 18, 2017
FACEBOOK Gives Staff Green Light to Protest Trump…
THEY HAVE TOO MUCH POWER OVER US! https://t.co/BeqA2wHnAf
— Italians For Trump (@Italians4Trump) April 18, 2017
International Workers' Day, May 1?? Is that same as "ILLEGAL" immigrant Day? Facebook gives employees day off to protest. When is DUI Day? https://t.co/DH7BeMrP52
— Bill J L (@LapuzzaBill) April 18, 2017
Featured image via Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.