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At #WayfairWalkout Actions, Workers Denounce Company Profiting From Child Detention

"The safety and well-being of immigrant children is always worth fighting for."

A Wayfair employee speaks to the crowd during the Wayfair walkout in Copley Square on June 26, 2019 in Boston. Wayfair sold more than $200,000 in bedroom furniture to a Texas detention facility for migrant children.

A Wayfair employee speaks to the crowd during the Wayfair walkout in Copley Square on June 26, 2019 in Boston. Wayfair sold more than $200,000 in bedroom furniture to a Texas detention facility for migrant children. (Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Protesters filled Boston's Copley Square Wednesday afternoon as part of the "Wayfair Walkout," where the company's employees staged a work stoppage to protest the retailer profiting from President Donald Trump's child detention policies.

Hundreds of Wayfair workers and supporters took part in the Wednesday action both in Boston and in Brunswick, Maine. The Boston Globe reported that management "indicated there will be no retaliation for employees who participate in the walkout."

The protest stems from worker unrest over Wayfair's contracting with BCFS, a company running child detention facilities.

"We cannot be a nation that stands for locking up little children. What these workers are doing is brave and necessary."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

In a letter to Wayfair leadership on June 21, a group of 547 employees called on the company to reject the contract because "the current actions of the United States and their contractors at the southern border do not represent an ethical partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of."

After the company leadership refused, the group asked that the $86,000 in profits from the contract be donated to immigration legal advocacy group RAICES. Wayfair's leadership on Wednesday instead announced they would donate $100,000 to the Red Cross—an attempt to defuse the situation that was seen as insufficient.

"This is great news! And proof that Wayfair can and does do good," said the walkout's Twitter account. "However, the Red Cross has nothing to do with these ICE-operated facilities."

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As Common Dreams reported, the protest was publicized Tuesday and took off after receiving the endorsement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), RAICES, and other prominent progressives. 

Later on Tuesday, the walkout received the backing of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both of whom are vying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. 

"The safety and well-being of immigrant children is always worth fighting for," tweeted Warren. 

In his endorsement of the protest, Sanders praised the morality of the action. 

"We cannot be a nation that stands for locking up little children," said Sanders. "What these workers are doing is brave and necessary."

Wayfair stock has dropped more than five dollars a share since Tuesday morning. 

Watch speeches from the action, via ABC:

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