On June 19, employees at Wayfair learned BCFS — a government contractor that has been managing facilities for migrant children detained at the southern US border — ordered $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to be shipped to the site of a future 1,600-bed shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas.
In response, more than 500 employees signed a letter of protest and sent it to company executives, including cofounders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine and the entire board.
When Wayfair refused to change course, employees at the company’s Back Bay headquarters organized a walkout for Wednesday.
Here’s what you need to know about the Wayfair walkout:
• Employees are walking out at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. They will leave their office and walk to nearby Copley Square.
• In their letter, employees asked the company to cease doing business with BCFS and other contractors and requested Wayfair establish a code of ethics for business-to-business sales that would allow “Wayfair employees to act in accordance with our values” according to the letter.
• The letter was sent on Friday and employees received a response at 6 p.m. on Monday.
• In their response, company executives said they appreciated employees’ effort to bring the issue to their attention, but as business leaders they “also believe in the importance of respecting diversity of thought within our organization and across our customer base.”
• A Twitter account about the @wayfairwalkout has over 18,000 followers.
• The walkout has received high profile recognition on social media. Politicians like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have voiced their support for the Wayfair employees.