There are hundreds of employees who were working at the online furniture company Wayfair walked off their jobs Wednesday in order to protest one of the decisions of the company that is to supply furniture to migrant detention centers.
Wayfair employees discovered that the company had sold worth $200,000 of furniture to a Texas detention center that is housing migrant children.
Last week, there were about 550 employees who have sent a letter to Wayfair declaring their demands, the main demands among them comprises the end of tasks that furnish detention centers. In reply to this, Wayfair said that it would not stop doing business with detention centers, also mentioning the significance of “intellectual diversity.”
The Boston-based retailer, which has not openly addressed the concerns of employees, on Wednesday made a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross. The Red Cross has also confirmed the donation as well as said that it would put the funds in the direction of its efforts “helping with the border crisis in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.”
Employees, on the other hand, said that the donation was not enough and called on the company in order to make new principles course of action that would stop future business with service provider running detention camps for immigrants. Campaigners held various signs, some of them said “prison with a bed is still a prison” and “supplying is supporting.” Locals who are unaffiliated with Wayfair have also joined the walkout in order to show their support for the protesting employees.
On Tuesday, a @wayfairwalkout account created after the walkout gained the strong grip on Twitter and by midday Wednesday the account gained nearly 22,000 followers. Some of the major politicans also tweeted their support in the account, some of them are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts.
DoneGood, which is an e-commerce shopping platform that only sources sustainable brands that authorize workers, said that it would contribute all its profits Wednesday to RAICES.
The company’s founder, Cullen Schwarz told to NBC News, “We agree with Wayfair workers that it’s wrong for companies to seek to profit from a system that is taking children from families and keeping them in inhumane conditions.”
On Tuesday, an employee who was organizing the walkout told The Washington Post, “We’re walking out in protest of our leadership’s decision to sell to reprehensible concentration camps.”
He further added, “We had hoped that raising awareness would be enough for them to do the right thing, but it wasn’t. We want to make it clear that this is not a political issue — it’s a humanitarian issue, and we will not back down.”
The company has also hosted a town hall on Tuesday at which the workers were asked to voice their concerns as well as to discuss the controversies. Organizers of the walkout stated they are hoping to carry on the conversation with Wayfair’s leadership.
The Trump campaign also responded to the walkout Tuesday, by tweeting “To keep migrants comfortable while Democrats in Congress dither on humanitarian aid, the Trump Admin bought bedroom furniture from Wayfair.”
The tweet further added, “Sadly, open-border advocates @AOC @RepPressley are bullying Wayfair to cancel the sale, depriving kids of good beds to sleep in. Heartless!”