When I saw this headline out of the Boston area I was immediately confused. (Not to imply that this is an unusual condition.) There is a walkout looming by workers at Wayfair, a retail seller of home furnishings and decorative items from thousands of different manufacturers. Strikes aren’t all that unusual, but this one seemingly sprung up overnight and for a puzzling reason. The workers are upset that the company accepted an order for a large number of beds destined for migrant detention centers on the southern border. (Boston Globe)
Employees of the online housewares giant Wayfair announced Tuesday that they would stage a walkout at the company’s Back Bay headquarters on Wednesday to protest its decision to sell furniture to the operators of facilities for migrant children detained at the southern US border.
Last Wednesday, they learned that a $200,000 order of bedroom furniture had been placed by BCFS, a government contractor that has been managing camps at the border. More than 500 employees signed a letter of protest sent to company executives. When the company refused to change course, employees organized the walkout.
“Knowing what’s going on at the southern border and knowing that Wayfair has the potential to profit from it is pretty scary,” said Elizabeth Good, a manager on the engineering team at the company and one of the walkout’s two dozen organizers.
One assumes that the workers are unhappy with the conditions in detention facilities down near the border where children are being held. (That’s totally understandable.) So what you’re saying is… you don’t want the children to have beds?
Yeah, that should certainly teach the CBP a lesson, huh? You’re not treating the kids well enough so we’re going to make sure they have to sleep on the floor. In a more sane world, one might think that people would be rushing to get those beds down there, but that’s probably a lot to ask in 2019.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen activity of this nature. Last summer there were calls to boycott software giant Salesforce because of a contract they had with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But in that case, it was a contract to sell software presumably being used in enforcement efforts. These beds are the equivalent of humanitarian aid for migrant children.
To put it bluntly, some of you social justice warriors and activists need to put your outrage in context and consider what you’re doing. Who are you going to protest next… the company that sells them lice combs?