US workers strike against privatised detention camps

wayfairBCFS, a Texan outsourcing outfit, describes itself as “a global system of health and human services non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the US” and worldwide. Its website claims expertise in delivering ‘humanitarian aid’, medical and healthcare and empowering people with disabilities. Not mentioned, however, is the fact that it also equips and runs detention centres for migrant children crossing the Texas/Mexican border. These brand new privatised concentration camps, commissioned by the government to serve as a ‘temporary emergency influx facility’, have now suddenly closed down amid a storm of criticism.

Helping to stoke that storm, staff at the Boston-based homeware suppliers Wayfair walked off the job when they discovered that their company had been supplying BCFS with $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to kit out a new camp in Texas. Hundreds of Wayfair employees signed a petition demanding that Wayfair should stop “enabling, supporting or profiting from” companies running such camps and striking workers filled a square in Boston, showing what workers can achieve by collective action (Christine Bolanos, ‘New Texas detention centre for migrant children to close’, The Guardian, 23 July 2019).