Comcast Employees to Protest Trump Immigration Ban

Employees organized the rally, more than 1,000 may join, and they're getting PTO. Does this mean the cable giant’s execs will finally speak on Trump’s recent executive order?

Comcast Center

Photo: Dan McQuade

Some Comcast employees will take time off the job on Thursday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive ban on immigrants and migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Employees from at least four different cities — Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Sunnyvale, Calif. — are planning join in on the rally, which was self-organized through an internal Slack channel of about 1,200 employees, according to BillyPenn. Philadelphia’s rally will begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the plaza outside of Comcast’s headquarters in Center City. Others in tech are encouraged to join the demonstration. Will other tech companies give employees the opportunity to join the demonstration?

As more and more business leaders come forward to denounce President Trump’s latest order, Comcast has yet to make a statement, though Comcast employees have stated that the company is in support of their decision to protest.

The company is offering paid time off for employees who wish to take part in the rally. In a statement, Comcast spokesperson John Demming said, “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.”

Comcast CTO Sree Kotay, an Indian immigrant, will join the rally, Technical.ly reports, but it isn’t clear whether the cable giant’s other leaders will participate.

Based on Slack conversations obtained by Technical.ly, the demonstration is less of a walkout against Comcast and more of a means for employees to stand in solidarity against the Trump administration’s divisive ban.

After last weekend’s airport protests, tech leaders across the country at companies including Airbnb, Apple, and Microsoft spoke out in opposition against Trump’s order. Google employees rallied in the thousands.

Will we see Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Comcast senior vice president David L. Cohen out on the streets alongside employees today? As I reported last week, Roberts is looking forward to working with the new administration and new FCC chair, Ajit Pai. And the last time we’ve heard from Cohen publicly was when he came down on City Council’s wage law.

Follow the protest on social media under #techhasnowalls and #include.

Follow @fabiolacineas on Twitter.



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