Wayfair employees announced Tuesday that they would stage a walkout Wednesday to protest the Boston-based online housewares giant’s decision to sell bedroom furniture to a government contractor that manages child detention camps at the southern US border.
The move comes after workers said they learned last week that a $200,000 order of furniture had been placed by BCFS, a government contractor managing camps at the border.
The news immediately drew sharp rebukes from notable figures, including politicians, advocacy organizations, and entertainers.
Wayfair workers couldn’t stomach they were making beds to cage children.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2019
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
We must actively #resist any & all efforts by this cruel, incompetent administration to cage children and separate families. I proudly stand in solidarity w/ the hardworking individuals at #Wayfair who are walking out in the name of #justice & humanity. https://t.co/UFvCZNGeTJ— Rep Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) June 25, 2019
Here’s the deal with the @Wayfair walk out. They absolutely do NOT have to be the company that supplies the prison camps. These are privately owned camps that are for profit. Your elected officials cannot even get in there to see them! This CEO? 👎. Pls follow @wayfairwalkout pic.twitter.com/mYN9IQKTxU— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 25, 2019
We applaud @Wayfair workers who are walking out to protest Wayfair profiting from detention centers.— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 25, 2019
No one who works for a company profiting from these camps should be standing idly by as children are dying. This takes a village.#WayfairWalkouthttps://t.co/rLElrcUsKi
Many customers, including author Celeste Ng, have said they would no longer shop at Wayfair. Some have framed the boycott as a concrete way to protest the detention camps along the border, while others satirized the “Wayfair, you’ve got just what I need” commercial jingle in their condemnation of the company’s actions.
Literally just got on Twitter to give a shoutout to @Wayfair customer service and discovered the #WayfairWalkout instead.— Elizabeth(Beth) (@neverliz) June 25, 2019
Wayfair, whether or not to abuse children isn’t a difference of opinion, it’s a moral choice. No more business from me until you stop supporting this.
Critics have also implicated other companies and Wayfair’s subsidiaries.
Last I checked Amazon, Microsoft, Verizon, Dell and Palantir all had contracts with ICE or CBP.— Shauna (@shauna_gm) June 25, 2019
You too can research contracts at https://t.co/omlYlMWDzx. Put in the recipient (company) name or DUNS # in this search: https://t.co/QKuXU6oIIx https://t.co/mpKbSbbDEP
The wealth disparity between Wayfair’s CEO and the migrant children was also a source of tension.
Some have defended Wayfair, arguing that it is contradictory to criticize the standards of the camps as well as the company providing new furniture.
President Trump’s 2020 campaign team also weighed in.
To keep migrants comfortable while Democrats in Congress dither on humanitarian aid, the Trump Admin bought bedroom furniture from @Wayfair. Sadly, open-border advocates @AOC @RepPressley are bullying Wayfair to cancel the sale, depriving kids of good beds to sleep in. Heartless!— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) June 25, 2019