Wayfair employees held a walk out after finding out the company was selling furniture to the border detention center.
What We Know:
- On Wednesday, Wayfair employees protested at the Boston, Massachusetts location. This protest was a result of discovering that the company did business with a contractor who works for the facilities that are detaining children at the border.
- Wayfair has currently been doing business with a nonprofit organization called BCFS. 550 employees signed a letter explaining how Wayfair sold $200,000 worth of furniture to the organization. They also explained that they found out about BCFS through a company group chat. According to the website, BCFS “partners with government agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and community leaders to develop programs and service models that combat challenges in health and human services.”
- BCFS works specifically with the governments “unaccompanied alien children program.” The furniture they bought was for the opening of a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. According to the company letter, the furniture will be “outfitted to 3000 migrant children.”
- These facilities have been an emotional and passionate topic amongst Americans recently. Many are disgusted at what is happening to these families, which is obviously all the more reason the Wayfair employees walked out when they found out they were inadvertently a part of it.
- @FizFashizzle, posted Wayfairs response to the company letter on Twitter. Although the user is not an employee, two employees confirmed that the letter was sent by CEO Niraj Shah. The response did not confirm or deny that the sale was made. The response did highlight the importance of diversity in business and understanding that customer and business believes don’t always match. They specifically wrote, “This does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.”
- A representative from BCFS released a statement as well. Evelyn Stauffer, Director of Communications at the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families commented in an interview with Vox.com. “Those protesting Wayfair’s sale of beds for unaccompanied alien children need to ask themselves what the alternative should be to keep the children comfortable,” she said. Some may say the answer to her question is simple. To keep children comfortable, leave them with their families.
This story is still developing, and those who participated in the protest received no disciplinary action.