Wayfair employees protest the company’s furniture sales to border-detention camps

Wayfair employees walking out in protest of furniture sales to border camps.

June 26, 2019

Employees at online furniture marketplace Wayfair plan to walk out in protest today at the company’s Boston headquarters, the Boston Globe reports.

Yesterday, employees announced the walkout to oppose the company’s sale of $200k worth of mattresses to BCFS, a government contractor that manages detention camps for migrant children along the Mexican border.

Wayfair’s stock dipped more than 5% after the announcement.

The speedy version:

Last Wednesday, employees learned that Baptist Children’s Family Services had placed an order of roughly 1.6k mattresses and 100 bunk beds — and that Wayfair planned to fulfill it.

The more than 500 employees at Wayfair signed a letter asking the brass to sever its ties with the nonprofit detention center manager. 

The brass refused, saying it was standard practice to sell to “any customer acting within the laws of [Wayfair’s] operations.” 

So the employees said “nah, we’re out.”

Now what?

Wayfair execs agreed to establish a client code of ethics and donate some of the proceeds to charity.

But organizers want Wayfair to donate the $86k it will make in profit from the sale to the nonprofit organization RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services).

But Wayfair’s business operations — which brought in revenue of $6.8B in 2018 — will probably keep going as usual at their daily average of 100k orders per day.

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