Updated 6:10 p.m.
Comcast employees in at least four cities are planning to walk off the job Thursday and hold rallies in protest of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning all refugees as well as immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries.
Comcast employees have self-organized the rally through an internal Slack channel that a high-level source at Comcast tells us grew from about 100 people to 1,200 people this week. Comcast is one of the largest employers in the Philadelphia region and stands as the most influential corporation in the city.
In Philadelphia where Comcast is headquartered, the one-hour rally will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday at the plaza outside the Comcast Center at 17th and JFK. Others in the Philadelphia tech sector are encouraged by organizers to attend. The other campuses that will see actions are Washington, D.C., New York City (SoHo) and Sunnyvale, CA. The California rally will begin at 11 a.m. PST.
The action is not technically a “walk-out” as the company is offering paid time off to anyone taking part in the demonstration.
Comcast spokesman John Demming released a statement saying: “Our primary focus is to make sure that all of our employees feel safe in their jobs, including while traveling. We have assured our employees that no one will be asked to travel to a place that would result in them feeling vulnerable in any way. And, we have enhanced our employee resources programs to help any concerned employee navigate through this matter.”
An organizer of the rally told Billy Penn that the focus isn’t against Comcast as a corporation but is instead a way for employees to speak their mind about the president’s executive order. Sources say some higher-ups at the company are aware of and supportive of the action.
According to a meticulously organized, four-page internal document about the demonstration, Comcast will not penalize any contractors for taking part. The protest will be documented on social media using the hashtags #TechHasNoWalls and #include.
The demonstration comes just a few days after employees at eight different Google campuses staged a walkout and protest against Trump’s executive order.
It also comes as the entire city of Philadelphia is experiencing a surge of protest following President Trump’s inauguration less than two weeks ago. Since then, there have been at least a half dozen major protests in the city and many more smaller demonstrations against the president’s actions.