Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Employees of Wayfair march to Copley Square in protest prior to their rally in Boston, on June 26, 2019.

Charles Krupa/The Associated Press

Several hundred people, including employees of Wayfair Inc, rallied in Boston on Wednesday to protest the online retailer’s sale of furniture for a Texas detention facility housing migrant children.

It was the latest outpouring of anger over Republican U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. The protest drew the support of high-profile Democrats including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a presidential candidate.

Wayfair employees walked off the job at 1:30 p.m. to protest an order for more than $200,000 of bedroom furniture destined for a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that would house migrant children seeking asylum. After about an hour, many in the crowd drifted away from the rally.

Story continues below advertisement

Employees have cited an internal document on the sale. A posting on Twitter, on @wayfairwalkout, said that 547 employees had signed a petition demanding that Wayfair halt all business with border camps. “CEO said no,” the tweet said.

They demanded that Wayfair stop selling to migrant detention camps and that it give profits of the sale, which they claim amount to $86,000, to a Texas-based non-profit agency offering legal services to immigrants.

“There is more to life than profit,” said Tom Brown, a 33-year-old engineer at Wayfair. “What is right is not cut and dry.”

A Wayfair spokeswoman declined to comment on the alleged sale.

The company on Wednesday e-mailed employees to say it was making a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross, which was confirmed by the retailer.

“I can confirm the Red Cross donation that intended to assist with humanitarian relief at the border,” Wayfair spokeswoman Jane Carpenter told Reuters by e-mail.

“That was not what we asked for,” said Madeline Howard, 29, a Wayfair product manager.

Story continues below advertisement

Some in the crowd carried signs with messages including “a cage is not a home” and “a prison with a bed is still a prison.”

Wayfair management rejected the petition’s demands in an internal memo on Tuesday, according to the Boston Globe.

“We also believe in the importance of respecting diversity of thought within our organization and across our customer base,” the unsigned letter read, according to the newspaper. “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.”

Criticism has mounted this week over the detention of migrant children in overcrowded, squalid conditions.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies