Wayfair Employees Plan Walkout Over Beds Sold To Migrant Camps

by Christina Marfice
Wayfair Walkout/Twitter and Christian Science Monitor/Getty

Wayfair employees are making it absolutely clear they don’t want their company supplying orders for migrant camps

It’s been a week since Wayfair employees learned that their company supplied a $200,000 order to a private company that runs migrant camps housing children along the southern border. After raising their concerns with the company, those employees are now planning a walkout today in protest of Wayfair’s profiting off of jailing children.

Employees of the furniture and home goods giant first sent a letter to their company’s management, asking for more transparency, and with two other main asks: That Wayfair cease all current and future sales to contractors who run migrant detention camps, and that the company establishes a code of ethics that “empowers Wayfair and its employees to act in accordance with our core values.”

Leadership responded to the letter, but their response was clearly not what employees had in mind. Basically, Wayfair’s stance is that, “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. We believe all of our stakeholders, employees, customers, investors, and suppliers included are best served by our commitment to fulfill our orders.”

You know, even if those orders allow a company to make hundreds of thousands of dollars off the immoral, unethical, and legally dubious practice of locking children in cages.

“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 Wayfair engineer and one of the walkout’s organizers, told 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 Wayfair Walkout is now planned for this afternoon, according to a Twitter account that was created for the event.

Organizers want to emphasize that they don’t necessarily want companies like Wayfair to stop supplying beds and furniture to migrant camps because those kids are surviving enough horrifying rights violations without having to sleep on the floor. Instead, they want companies to donate the necessary supplies so they aren’t profiting off the human rights violations that are occurring at the southern border.

They also say executives have said no employees will be punished for walking out today, which is hopefully a sign that they’re open to actually having the conversation their workers want to have.

Meanwhile, shoppers are tweeting in support of Wayfair’s employees and saying they’ll stop spending at the company until this is resolved.

Here’s hoping this walkout sends the message that needs to be sent. No company should be complicit in what’s happening at the border. As human beings, we all should be so horrified at the treatment of children — and asylum seekers of all ages — in detention camps. Profiting off this tragedy absolutely needs to stop, and companies with influence and means — like Wayfair — should be doing more to stop the mistreatment of migrants and asylum seekers. Huge applause to the employees demanding action.