One depressing sign of our times is the politicization of every corner of American life, and the latest outrage overkill involves, well, furniture sales. A classic example of progressives losing the plot is this week’s walkout at Wayfair.
The trouble started when some 500 employees at the popular online furniture retailer complained in a letter that Wayfair had been selling beds and mattresses to a group that runs detention centers at the border. “We believe that the current actions of the United States and their contractors at the Southern border do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be part of,” the letter said. Employees staged a walkout on Wednesday and protested in Boston.
Here’s a question: How exactly would the plight of immigrants be improved by denying them furniture? You would think employees so concerned about the living conditions at the border would be eager to furnish decent products for those affected. Wayfair’s social-justice warriors fail to see the irony, and you can expect more such moral confusion from progressive millennials across corporate America.
The group and its supporters are advocating for five key changes. They want
- an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination;
- a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity;
- a publicly disclosed sexual-harassment transparency report;
- a clear, uniform, and globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously; and
- promotion of the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the board of directors, along with the appointment of an employee representative to the board.
.. The Google walkout, in particular, has done a great job of raising awareness of company wrongdoings, but at the end of the day, Google is a for-profit corporation. The way to negotiate with a for-profit corporation isn’t through symbolism, but by jeopardizing profits.
.. “If women and men and anyone who supports these efforts had an actual strike, then you’d see lasting change,” Prashar said. “They need to say we’re not going to work unless these things actually change.” He also doesn’t see lasting changes coming from Google itself, or any other for-profit tech company for that matter. “It would be brilliant for businesses to do this [protect workers from sexual harassment and punish abusers], but to create a countrywide change, it’s going to require state and federal government to come in and change the laws too.”