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Wayfair Workers Are Outraged the Company Is Selling Furniture to “Border Camps”

They're planning to walk off the job Wednesday, according to an unverified Twitter account.

by Rex Santus
Jun 25 2019, 8:35pm

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Employees at e-commerce company, Wayfair, are planning to walk off the job Wednesday in protest of the company selling beds and other furniture for use at facilities where migrants are detained.

A Twitter account named “wayfairwalkout” tweeted Tuesday that many employees of Wayfair were upset with the company’s management over its furniture sales to “border camps,” specifically a non-licensed shelter 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.

The account implored Wayfair employees at the headquarters in Boston to leave their desks at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and walk to Copley Square. It’s unclear who’s running the account, which did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

“Employees asked for the order to be canceled and management said no,” the account tweeted. “Everyone deserves a home they can feel safe and loved in, especially children, no matter where they're from.”

The account also claimed that 547 employees signed onto the letter sent to the CEO asking the company to discontinue its relationship with contractors who furnish border camps. The CEO, Niraj Shah, refused, according to the Twitter account. Wayfair did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

“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.”

The letter also demanded that Wayfair donate $86,000 in profits it made from these sales to RAICES, a non-profit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.

Government contractor BCFS put in a $200,000 order for “bedroom furniture” meant for border facilities, the Boston Globe reported. An anonymous employee also confirmed to the Globe the authenticity of the employees’ letter to the company.

Trump’s border detention camps — which several progressive Democrats have recently called concentration camps — reportedly subject detainees to often unsafe, unsanitary living conditions. At least 24 people in ICE custody have died since President Trump took office. Six migrant children have died in government custody since September.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in and expressed her support of the walkout.

Wayfair has more than 12,000 employees, which means a walkout would possibly count as a major work stoppage (more than 1,000 workers), per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Major work stoppages, usually caused by labor strikes or other workplace actions of disobedience, saw their first major uptick in more than three decades in 2018.

Cover image: This April 17, 2018, file photo shows the Wayfair website on a computer in New York.(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)