By Mike LaCrosse

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.

Wayfair employees begin a walkout to protest the company’s decision to sell furniture to detention camps for migrant children. (Image Credit: Mike LaCrosse/WBZ-TV)

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.

Mike LaCrosse

Comments (8)
  1. Howard Sussdorff says:

    fire the lot, hire vets

  2. If I was living in Boston and needed a job, I would apply at Wayfair for the jobs of those who walked out. Now is the time.

  3. Russell Jennison says:

    Move the headquarters down south where they will be replaced instantly.

  4. Dianne McCann says:

    A walk-out based on a political agenda? They all need to be fired!

  5. Steve Shepard says:

    This is just one of BCFS’s projects. What if they decide to go with another source (ie. IKEA) for ALL their future furniture needs? What if other companies follow suit rather than dealing with the Wayfair headaches? So, a small percentage of employees will decide a company’s direction based on their political agenda- with no concern for the majority of the employees. I don’t know if Wayfair is public or private, but if I had stock I dump it immediately. I think that Wayfair just “jumped the shark”.

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