A protest by employees of discount furniture retailer Wayfair against the sale of beds to migrant detention centers has gone viral, forcing Twitter users to argue over the morality of supplying furniture to “concentration camps.”
Wayfair workers, upset their demand that the company stop selling furniture to contractors supplying migrant detention camps was rebuffed by management, plan to stage a walkout at the company’s Boston headquarters on Wednesday.
“This is what solidarity looks like – a reminder that everyday people have real power, as long as we’re brave enough to use it,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) tweeted, sending the employees’ protest to the top of Twitter’s trends list.
Over 500 employees signed a letter to Wayfair’s CEO last week demanding the company cease doing business with all contractors operating detention camps after learning that $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture had been purchased for a Carrizo Springs, Texas facility being constructed to hold 3,000 young migrants.
Instead of canceling the order and promising never to supply lucrative government contracts again, Wayfair management replied with a letter of their own, thanking the employees for their concerns but urging them to keep in mind “the importance of respecting diversity of thought within our organization and across our customer base.”
“No matter how strongly any one of us feels about an issue, it is important to keep in mind that not all employees or customers agree,” the letter read. “We believe all of our stakeholders…are best served by our commitment to fulfill all orders. This does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.”
A Twitter account @wayfairwalkout was created to publicize the employees’ response. The only demand was for Wayfair to donate the profits from the sale – estimated at $80,000 – to RAICES, a group providing legal aid services to illegal immigrants. Then AOC showed up, bringing the social justice hordes, and #WayfairWalkout shot to the top of Twitter’s trending list.
“Workers have a moral duty to resist the Trump administration’s separation of families, and border policies that lead to horrific and unnecessary deaths,” one supporter tweeted, while others shared how “disgusted” they were at the company’s lack of morals and promised never to shop there again.
“No money for concentration camps” was a popular rallying cry.
Hey @Wayfair, I had about $2000 worth of furniture picked out for my new place until I learned that some beds might be out of stock BECAUSE YOU ARE SELLING THEM TO FURNISH BORDER DETENTION FACILITIES. Support #WayfairWalkout. pic.twitter.com/naLzyh5sPp
— Dr. Sherry Zaks 📚🍰🦒 (@TheDapperChef) June 25, 2019
Beyond the initial wave of outraged responses condemning the company and congratulating the employees on their stance, however, many pointed out that the detention centers needed to buy their beds somewhere.
“Making children sleep on concrete floors to own the conservatives is where we are with this now?” one user asked incredulously. Others called out the employees for virtue-signaling: “If they really cared they’d donate their salaries, not ask the company to suffer.”
What about the company that sells them soap and toothbrushes?? Is that a bad thing too?
— JayZ (@JayZammie) June 25, 2019
Meanwhile, the Trump 2020 campaign shamed Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Democratic congresswoman Ayana Pressley for “bullying Wayfair to cancel the sale,” calling the pair “heartless” for wanting to deprive immigrant children of beds.
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