A group of employees who work for Wayfair staged a walkout at the company's headquarters in Boston in protest of the online retailer selling furniture to migrant detention facilities. The employees found out last week that the company had sold $200,000 worth of mattresses and bunk beds to BCFS, a non-profit organization which operates migrant facilities near the U.S.-Mexico border.
When the employees learned of the sale, they penned a letter to senior leadership and asked the company to stop doing business with BCFS. It was signed by over 500 employees.
"The United States government and its contractors are responsible for the detention and mistreatment of hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in our country — we want that to end," the employees wrote in the letter. "We also want to be sure that Wayfair has no part in enabling, supporting, or profiting from this practice."
Wayfair responded to the letter and said the company would continue to business with BCFS.
"As a retailer, it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers, and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate," Wayfair's leadership said. "This does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us."
Wayfair did agree to donate money to the Red Cross, but the employees want the company to do more. An estimated 500 employees walked out of the office on Wednesday (June 26) and gathered at Copley Square in Boston. A few employees address the crowd.
"This is the first time I felt like I needed to hit the streets to make sure that I was proud of my company—that I was happy to work for them, to make sure that we're all adhering to those Wayfair values, like everyone deserves a home that they love," said Madeline Howard, who has worked for Wayfair for seven years.