Retail outlet, Urban Outfitters has caused disconcert after asking salaried employees to work on the weekend in a bid to help it meet ramping demand. On one condition, they work for free.
In a company wide sent out email obtained by gawker, the outlet’s Philadelphia based headquarters, URBN calls for ‘volunteers’ to help out at one of its fulfillment centers during the workers’ days off.
Are you chaffing at the bit yet kids?
Hyping the extra unpaid shifts as ‘team- building activity’ the memo reads: ‘URBN is seeking weekend volunteers to help out at our fulfillment center in Gap, PA. October will be the busiest month yet for the center, and we need additional helping hands to ensure the timely shipment of orders.’
As for what the employees will be doing during this faux bonding experience, the company says they will ‘help pick, pack and ship orders for our wholesale and direct customers’.
Yes kids, I can tell you’re licking your chops in ardent salivation….
The email continues: ‘In addition to servicing the needs of our customers, it’s a great way to experience our fulfillment operations first hand.
‘Get your co-workers together for a team building activity!’
But there must be something in it for me besides a chance to team build? Well there is …. sort of.
In return for their sacrificed weekends, employees are told that they will receive lunch and transportation, if necessary.
But of course you may also bring your own meal and make your own way if you should desire. Team building is what’s most important here.
Whilst the outlet may have thought their memo might get some takers or at the very least the attention of those of you starved off the chance to build their team building skills, not everyone saw it that way.
Responded one user on twitter: ‘Urban Outfitters apparently thinks volunteering at Urban Outfitters is a great way to give back to the community.’
Others would go the extra distance, calling the memo ‘appalling’, while some posited that the company’s executives were ‘scumbags’.
Contrary to expectation, URBN has since issued a statement regarding the controversy, telling hat it received a ‘tremendous response’ from employees who were purportedly eager to help out.
The retailer added that many of its hourly workers also wanted to pitch in, but that the company was forced to decline ‘in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable labor laws and regulations’.
Do you suppose kids?
The memo in full as obtained by gawker:
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 12:01 PM
Subject: A Call For URBN Volunteers!
A Call for URBN Volunteers!
URBN is seeking weekend volunteers to help out at our fulfillment center in Gap, PA. October will be the busiest month yet for the center, and we need additional helping hands to ensure the timely shipment of orders. As a volunteer, you will work side by side with your GFC colleagues to help pick, pack and ship orders for our wholesale and direct customers.
In addition to servicing the needs of our customers, it’s a great way to experience our fulfillment operations first hand. Get your co-workers together for a team building activity!
Who: Home Office URBN salaried employees
Where: URBN’s Fulfilment Center – 766 Brackbill Road, Gap, Pennsylvania 17527
What You’ll Be Doing: Pick, pack and prepare packages for shipment(please wear sneakers and comfortable clothing)
When: October 17, 18, 24, 25, and 31 Lunch will be provided
Two shifts each day: 9:00 AM – 3:00PM or 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
(you can volunteer for one or multiple days)
Transportation: If needed, URBN will provide transportation to and from GFC (details provided after sign up)
How: Sign up using this link and we will be in touch with more details. Please do not show up without signing up.