BOSTON (CBS) – A large number of Wayfair workers walked off the job at the online furniture retailer’s headquarters in Boston Wednesday afternoon to protest the company’s decision to sell furniture to detention camps for migrant children.
Organizers of the walkout asked employees to leave Copley headquarters at 1:30 p.m. and walk to Copley Square to demand Wayfair stop doing business with BCFS, which operates migrant detention facilities for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The planned walkout comes as a second attempt to get Wayfair to cancel the planned sale of $200,000 in furniture to BCFS. Last week, more than 500 employees signed a petition asking Wayfair to stop doing business with the government contractor but the company refused, so the walkout was organized.
Protesters held signs and largely walked quietly as they walked to Copley Square. Upon arrival, participants chanted and played music.
In addition to Wayfair employees, other people in the area joined the protest.
“People shouldn’t be forced to support certain political ideas, right? These workers don’t want to support whats going on,” supporter Jasmine Rotem said.
Another non-employee said that she left her job early just to attend the walkout.
“I’m not a manger but for me personally, there is more to life than profit,” employee Tom Brown said.
However, late Wednesday morning, CNN reported that Wayfair will now donate profits from the sale of the furniture.
Employee Madeleine Howard said the company will be making the donation to the American Red Cross, which did not satisfy worker demands.
“The big demands are we want them to stop doing business with this contractor,” she said. “A $100,000 donation to the Red Cross, great. It’s not what we asked for.”
Wayfair’s leadership has declined all requests for a response.
There are roughly 6,500 Wayfair workers at the Copley headquarters. It’s not clear how many of them walked out.