Wayfair employees stage strike over furnishing US border camps

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Wayfair strike
// Wayfair staff to strike in protest against the retailer’s involvement in furnishing border camps in the US
// Employees want the online retailer stop its partnership with a US government contractor
// Wayfair sold $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture for a camp in Texas where 3000 migrant kids will be detained

More than 500 staff at online retailer Wayfair are expected to stage a strike today in protest against its involvement in furnishing US border camps that detain children.

Employees are planning a walkout at the home and furniture company’s Boston headquarters and are demanding it cuts ties with a government contractor which sees Wayfair provide beds for the camps.

A letter signed by 547 employees reads: “We believe the current actions of the US and their contractors at the southern border do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of.”

Employees organising the strike also set up a Twitter account called @wayfairwalkout, and their tweets went viral after high-profile US politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders expressed their support.

According to strike organisers, Wayfair sold $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to furnish a camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas, where up to 3000 migrant children will be detained.

Wayfair reportedly made the sale through a contract with BCFS Health and Human Services, a not-for-profit organisation contracted by the US Government.

The strike comes amid growing controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s handling of refugees and immigrants and the poor conditions at border camps following the deaths of at least six children.

Staff involved in the strike have demanded Wayfair end its contract with BCFS and donate the $86,000 profit it has made so far to Raices, a not-for-profit legal service focusing on reuniting families and children separated at the border.

https://twitter.com/wayfairwalkout/status/1143608993039802369

However, Wayfair’s senior management said it would continue to fulfil orders for “all customers” acting within the laws of countries in which it operates.

“This does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us,” Wayfair stated in a letter to strike organisers.

The planned strike has also led to customers boycotting Wayfair in solidarity with the protesting workers, with many opting for the #WayfairWalkout on social media.

Headquartered in Boston, Wayfair trades throughout North America as well as in Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

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