Top Stories
Top Stories
Wires

UPDATE 1-Wayfair workers, supporters protest furniture sale to U.S. immigrant camp

Tim McLaughlin

camp@ (Recasts with protest under way; adds quote)

BOSTON, June 26 (Reuters) - 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 and legal 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. Employees have cited an internal document on the sale. A posting on Twitter, on zwayfairwalkout, 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."

Wayfair did not respond to multiple requests for comment. It has made no public comment and has not denied the sale.

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. (Reporting by Tim McLaughlin Additional reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)