Sunday, December 20, 2009

7 Target workers fired over Zhu Zhu pets

I followed the Buffalo News: Target workers fired over Zhu Zhu pets threads on several sites today. It sounded like hundreds of people wrote emails and letters on the worker's behalf. I'm glad they'll get their jobs back. It was a major overreaction on the side of their corporate rules.

To fire seven people at one store during the holidays? In this economy? That doesn't make sense from an ethical point of view OR a corporate business sense point of view. Lose a tenth of your staff at the holidays? No way. Leave seven families in the lurch for employment, in a tough economy, over a plastic hamster? No way.

They got so much bad press on this, ten times what they would ever have gotten in a
'this store ran out of my popular toy I wanted' situation. That was the reason for the firing - the employees bought the 'IT' toy this season after they were off work but before the store was officially open. Now, logic says maybe there is something fishy there - but not worthy of firing seven people two weeks after it happened. If seven people did it and it took them two weeks to figure out it was a fireable offense there was some other problem higher in management or rules not being explained properly at fault. One or two newer employees maybe, but not seven employees several of which had been at the company for many years. According to the news article the employees had not 'cleaned out' the stock either - there were more on the shelf when the customers arrived. So.. what was the big deal?

Any store can run out of merchandise - it's a common thing people complain about. But they complain, they do not usually come to arms enmasse or claim never to shop at that particular store again for ethical reasons. Firing employees in this fashion makes the store stick out like a sore thumb in a way people do not soon forget. I'm glad to see the public stand up and tell the store what they believe was more important. I'm also glad to see that the corporation seems to have listened - at least for now. Power to the people and all that jazz ;)

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