Wayfair Workers Protest at Company’s Headquarters Over Selling Furniture to Immigrant Detention Centers

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Wayfair employees and their supporters gathered to protest outside the company’s Boston headquarters Wednesday after learning the online retailer sold bedroom furniture to detention centers housing migrant children.

According to NBC News, people protesting shouted “this is what democracy looks like” and “Hey-Hey, Ho-Ho, ICE contracts have got to go.”

The protests started after employees found out that Wayfair had fulfilled a $200,000 order to BCFS, a non-profit government contractor that manages the camps’ migrants are currently staying in. The facility receiving the order currently houses 3,000 migrant children, according to a letter sent last Friday to the company’s leadership team and signed by more than 500 workers.

“We believe that by selling these (or any) products to BCFS or similar contractors we are enabling this violation and are complicit in furthering the inhumane actions of our government,” the letter states.

The Wayfair leadership team responded to this letter by thanking the workers for their concerns. However, the company noted it respected “diversity of thought” and that not everyone within the organization agreed on this issue.

“Your fellow employees hold a wide range of opinions and perspectives and Wayfair, as a mass-market brand, is oriented to serve a broad and diverse customer base.”

After a back-and-forth, Wayfair announced it would donate $100,000 to groups helping at the southern border. Employees, however, did not feel like this was enough and asked that profits from the sale be donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas legal service non-profit whose whose mission, they state on their website, is to “help separated families, detained families, unaccompanied minors, and others who are seeking asylum in the United States.”

Protesters received support from prominent progressive politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Ocasio-Cortez in recently faced backlash for labeling these southern border migrant camps “concentration camps.

“Wayfair workers couldn’t stomach they were making beds to cage children. They asked the company to stop. CEO said no. Tomorrow, they‘re walking out. This is what solidarity looks like – a reminder that everyday people have real power, as long as we’re brave enough to use it,” she tweeted.

Presidential candidate Warren offered her support for the protests on Twitter.

“I stand with the hundreds of @Wayfair employees who are planning to stage a walkout at their Boston headquarters tomorrow. The safety and well-being of immigrant children is always worth fighting for,” she said.

Despite the outcry, not all who support the plight of asylum-seekers agreed with the walkout.

Mother Jones contributor Kevin Drum wrote a short piece Wednesday expressing his disagreement with the organizers’ decision to punish Wayfair.

“But isn’t our whole complaint that these kids are being treated badly?” he wrote, adding:

Shouldn’t we want companies to sell the government toothpaste and soap and beds and so forth? What am I missing here?

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News.
Photo “Wayfair Protesters” by Wayfair Walkout.

 

 

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2 Thoughts to “Wayfair Workers Protest at Company’s Headquarters Over Selling Furniture to Immigrant Detention Centers”

  1. Habu

    Wayfair workers speak with forked tongue…..complain about conditions at the border but refuse to HELP alleviate same conditions by walking out.
    Ya gotta love confused minds.

  2. KarenB

    This is for political gain not because they care about the illegal alien children. They didn’t give a rats ass when Obama did worse. Clinton is the one that passed legislation to separate kids from adults but they blamed Trump. This is all political theater. Wayfair workers should be fired and replaced with illegals…….lets see how they feel about that.

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