Employees at Wayfair, a furniture company, are staging a walkout in protest of their employer’s ties to detention centers in Texas. More than 500 employees signed a letter to the CEO of Wayfair to say they do not support their company profiting on the inhumane treatment that the government is causing on undocumented migrants. The walkout is scheduled to happen today at the Wayfair headquarters located in Boston.
“Knowing what’s going on at the southern border and knowing that Wayfair has the potential to profit from it is pretty scary,” Elizabeth Good, a manager on the engineering team at the company and one of the walkout’s two dozen organizers, according to the Boston Globe. “I want to work at a company where the standards we hold ourselves to are the same standards that we hold our customers and our partners to.”
The employees found out last week that Wayfair made $200,000 in profits over selling beds to a detention center in Texas.
“This particular order, for over $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture, is destined for Carrizo Springs, Texas, to a facility that will be outfitted to detain up to 3,000 migrant children seeking legal asylum in the United States,” the letter stated. “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.”
Wayfair responded to their concerns by stating, according to the Vox, “As business leaders, we also believe in the importance of respecting diversity of thought within our organization and across our customer base. No matter how strongly any one of us feels about an issue, it is important to keep in mind that not all employees or customers agree. 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.”
In other words, not everyone agrees with the value of life at the border or detention centers; some people think detaining people under those conditions is okay so we have to respect their views and sells furniture to these detention centers anyway.
Now that people know that Wayfair is conducting business on the backs of vulnerable people, others are staging their own boycott of the company. Some are encouraged to sell their Wayfair stock. Others are seeking to return their Wayfair furniture.
One person on Twitter said, “I furnished my home after an overseas move with your store. Many of the items are still returnable and the ones that aren’t will be shipped back to your headquarters anyway unless you stop selling to migrant detention centers in the US. Immediately. #WayfairٍWalkout.”