A butcher shop with multiple New York City locations has temporarily closed after three dozen staffers walked out following the CEO’s removal of a Pride Flag and Black Lives Matter banner from several of the company’s stores, Forbes reported.
John Adams, the CEO of Fleisher’s, a restaurant specializing in top quality meats, took down the LGBTQ Flag and Black Lives Matter sign in response to a complaint from Rob Rosania, one of the company’s leading investors, Forbes reported. Last month, Rosania told Adams he received a message from a friend in Westport, Connecticut, who was “offended” by the Black Lives Matter signs. Rosania then demanded that the sign be removed, according to Forbes.
Shortly after, Adams traveled to the shop’s restaurants in Connecticut and New York to take down the Black Lives Matter banner and the LGBTQ Pride Flag. Within moments of the removal, employees blasted the CEO’s actions as insincere, noting that it undermined his efforts to bring “accountability to the company.” According to Forbes, out of about 40 workers at Fleisher’s, approximately half are people of color or identify as non-binary and queer.
The only Black employee at the butcher’s store in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, Ajani Thompson, ripped the CEO for not fulfilling his promise to employees.
“I told him he failed at that,” Thompson, 32, told Forbes. “You were trying to get our trust, and I don’t feel comfortable here. I don’t feel safe coming into work because you didn’t do that.”
Following the controversy, staffers left the company in waves. Within hours of the walkout, Adams put the signs back up at the storefronts, apologized, and sent a picture attesting to this change. Forbes reports that the establishment embarked on a quest to rehire workers. However, locations are temporarily closed due to this incident.
Fleisher’s New York City locations are at 1325 Third Avenue at East 76th Street in the Upper East Side and 192 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. The other two locations are in Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut, according to the company’s website.
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