Wayfair Employees Threaten Walkout Over Sales to Migrant Detention Contractor

The Wayfair warehouse in Cranbury

Employees at the online furniture retailer Wayfair plan to walk off the job Wednesday in protest of the company's sale of bedroom furniture to operators of detention centers for migrant children at the southern border.

The @wayfairwalkout account noted that, as of Tuesday afternoon, 547 Wayfair employees had signed a letter sent to the company asking that it end its business with BCFS as well as donate the alleged $86,000 (£68,000) profit from the order to immigration nonprofit RAICES.

"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 inhuman actions of our government", the employees' letter, shared on Twitter, read.

Originally shot at a protest against tent-cities for migrant children at the US-Mexico border in Texas a year ago, the photos were not published until Monday.

Four workers gathered outside the facility shortly after 1:30 p.m., joining about 30 non-employees who also called on the company to cut off those sales.

In response, Wayfair's executive leadership team thanked the employees in a letter for being "focused on impacting our world in meaningful and important ways".

But at its center were several Wayfair employees who felt the need to speak out.

The $200,000 contract is a drop in the bucket for a massive company like Wayfair, which earns $7 billion per year.

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Lawyers, doctors and migrant advocates have warned that the detention centers in which children were being held are at risk of major health and hygiene problems.

Tensions over the business deal had been building over the weekend and, according to Wayfair employee Madeline Howard, the mood in the office on Wednesday was "tense and empty". They came hot on the heels of the scandal surrounding AOC's insistence that border detention facilities are "concentration camps". It said the company's management "believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate".

Wayfair said it would have no further comment on the protest.

Silam says he is confident that Wayfair will ultimately make the right decision. "This does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us".

With more than two dozen Democrats running for president, many of them unknown to the vast majority of the United States, the question has popped up - why isn't she on the debate stage in Miami? Common Dreams reported on the facility's construction on June 20, citing WFAA reporter Jason Whitley, who said on Twitter that the camp would "house more than 1,000 captured children".

This is not the first time USA businesses have been ensnared in controversy about the Trump administration's immigration policy. It has drawn the support of high-profile Democrats including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and MA U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

The country's politically polarized atmosphere has become a minefield for many businesses as workers increasingly take on their employers for issues they care about.

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