Wayfair, an e-commerce giant that sells home goods, is reportedly fulfilling an order for $200,000 (£157,500) worth of bedroom furniture to a government contractor managing the US border camps.
Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that Wayfair employees are planning a walkout at the company’s Boston, Massachusetts headquarters today as an act of protest after discovering the company’s complicity in aiding the US government’s concentration camps. A Wayfair employee told the Boston Globe that employees found out about the order last Wednesday, which was placed by BCFS, health and human service professionals that contract with the US government.
An unverified Twitter account @wayfairwalkout began sharing updates on Tuesday regarding employee outrage over the news that their company was working with the camps at the US-Mexico border, in which migrant kids are forced to live under grossly inhumane conditions—just last week, the US Justice Department argued to the federal court that government agents shouldn’t have to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap to the children at the concentration camps, who are forced to sleep on concrete floor with a Mylar blanket as well as in cages outside on the dirt.
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. Employees sent the letter to executives on Friday, Boston Globe reported. The letter was addressed to CEO Niraj Shah, his co-founder Steve Conine, and the company board.
Wayfair workers couldn’t stomach they were making beds to cage children.
They asked the company to stop. CEO said no.
Tomorrow, they‘re walking out.
This is what solidarity looks like - a reminder that everyday people have real power, as long as we’re brave enough to use it. https://t.co/667abeLDTG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2019
“We believe that the current actions of the United States and their contractors at the Southern border do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of,” the letter stated, Boston Globe reported. “At Wayfair, we believe that ‘everyone should live in a home that they love.’ Let’s stay true to that message by taking a stand against the reprehensible practice of separating families, which denies them any home at all.”
But Wayfair’s executive leadership reportedly responded Monday evening with no intention to end current or future business with the government contractors.
“As a retailer, it is standard practice to fulfil 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,” executives reportedly stated in a letter to employees. “We believe all of our stakeholders, employees, customers, investors, and suppliers included are best served by our commitment to fulfil our orders.”
Wayfair didn’t immediately respond for comment and we will update this post when it does.
According to the @wayfairwalkout account, employees demand that the company end all business with the government contractors managing the migrant detention camps, as well as establish a code of ethics for business-to-business sales.
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