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Hundreds of people took to the streets of Boston Wednesday to protest after e-commerce company Wayfair sold $200,000 worth of beds and other furniture to a facility that detains migrants.
Videos taken at Boston’s Copley Square showed hordes of people chanting and protesting against the Trump administration’s immigration policies. On Tuesday, Wayfair workers planned to walk off their jobs after demanding the company end its business relationship with “border camps,” specifically one in Carrizo Springs, Texas, “that will be outfitted to detain up to 3,000 migrant children seeking legal asylum,” according to a letter that Wayfair employees sent to management.
It’s not immediately clear how many employees walked off the job as part of Wednesday’s demonstration, although employees were present. Wayfair did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
Wayfair employees also demanded that management donate the profits from the sales to RAICES, a non-profit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.
According to wayfairwalkout, the company offered to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross, which did not satisfy disgruntled workers because the Red Cross has nothing to do with the government’s migrant detention facilities.
The workers had sent a letter — signed by 547 employees — to Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah that demanded the company discontinue its relationship with border detention facilities. But Shah refused, according to a Twitter account organized by Wayfair employees, wayfairwalkout. Wayfair employees at other locations, such as those at a facility in Maine, also walked out in solidarity with workers at the company’s headquarters in Boston.
“We believe that the current actions of the United States and their contractors at the Southern border do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of,” the letter reads. “At Wayfair, we believe that ‘everyone should live in a home that they love.’ Let’s stay true to that message by taking a stand against the reprehensible practice of separating families, which denies them any home at all.”
Cover image: Wayfair employees and supporters rally at Copley Square in Boston, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Employees at online home furnishings retailer Wayfair walked out of work to protest the company's decision to sell $200,000 worth of furniture to a government contractor that runs a detention center for migrant children in Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)