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Workers Plan Walkout to Protest Sales to Migrant Camps

They're not happy about Wayfair's detention center contract
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2019 3:30 AM CDT
In this March 27, 2019 photo, Central American migrants wait for food in a pen erected by US Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in El Paso, Texas.   (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
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(Newser) – Workers at online furniture giant Wayfair say they don't want any part in what the US government is doing to migrants on America's southern border. Hundreds of workers are planning a walkout Wednesday to protest the company's sale of beds to a migrant detention center in Texas, the Guardian reports. A letter signed by more than 500 Wayfair employees urges the company to cancel the contract to supply beds for a child detention center and donate the $86,000 it has made from it to Raices, a nonprofit that is working to reunite families separated at the border. "We believe that the current actions of the United States and their contractors ... do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of," they wrote.

"Knowing what’s going on at the southern border and knowing that Wayfair has the potential to profit from it is pretty scary," walkout organizer Elizabeth Good tells the Boston Globe. "I want to work at a company where the standards we hold ourselves to are the same standards that we hold our customers and our partners to." Rep. Alexandrio Ocasio-Cortez praised the move as an "example of what solidarity looks like." "Wayfair workers couldn’t stomach they were making beds to cage children," the Democrat tweeted. The Massachusetts-based company, which has more than 12,000 employees, says it is not going to cancel the contract because it is "standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers." (Border Patrol agents refused donations of toothpaste and soap for detained children.)


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