A Harvey Norman-Owned Company Wants People To Work For Them For Free
Despite record-breaking sales for the parent company, people are being asked to "volunteer" their time.
The School Locker — a company co-owned by billionaire co-founder of Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey — has asked for ‘volunteers’ to help with an increase in demand over the back to school period. Now, the company is (rightfully) being called out on social media, with #boycottHarveyNorman currently trending.
A flyer from The School Locker asking for volunteers read “due to the increase in customer traffic over the busy back to school period we’re looking for in-store parent volunteers to assist families with school uniform purchases.”
From the man who boasted of huge profits throughout the pandemic, Gerry Harvey's side business, school uniforms & supplies is touting for VOLUNTEERS to work in stores without pay and instead get store credits.
— 💧 Sleeping Giants Oz 📣 (@slpng_giants_oz) November 23, 2020
This comes as Harvey self-describes the company’s sky-rocketing profits due to the coronavirus pandemic as “the greatest boom I’ve ever seen in my lifetime”. And earlier this year, he was slammed for suggesting the pandemic was a good business “opportunity”.
The company’s pre-tax profits are up 160 percent to $341.1 million in the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year. This is because people are redirecting money they would normally spend on travel, eating out, and going out, to their homes — people are redecorating and renovating at record levels.
Harvey Norman’s chief executive, Katie Page, said she expects the increase in sales to last well into the new year: “As Australia opens up even more we’re very confident the next three months – the end of November, December, January and the back to school period – will continue to be a good time for our company”.
The company has received $7.6 million in JobKeeper subsidies despite record-breaking sales, as well as $12 million from the New Zealand government.
And while The School Locker made losses in 2018 and 2019, the fact remains the company is owned by a billionaire and is for-profit, yet is asking for volunteers.
Possibly unlawful, definitely immoral – highest unemployment for a generation
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) November 25, 2020
#boycottharveynorman i am DISGUSTED. You cannot ask for volunteer sales staff, ESPECIALLY when your sales went up 160%. I will never shop with harvey norman again. These fucking rich assholes disgust me.
— Crystal 🔮 (@_Katanuh) November 26, 2020
gerry harvey said this in 2008 about homeless people. billionaires are so out of touch with reality. brag about making a killing during a pandemic and then ask people to work for free? gtfo. #boycottharveynorman pic.twitter.com/Avg52FC9Zu
— Brig 🌻 (@brighidmusic) November 25, 2020