Whether it’s real or the work of mischievous hackers, an outburst on Twitter today, seemingly from the troubled retailer’s own employees, highlights a problem many employers may face in the coming years. HMV’s 62,561 Twitter followers received a twenty minute tirade of messages from workers in the process of being dismissed.
Initially light-hearted, the missives soon turned sour:
“We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!!”
“There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand”
“Sorry we’ve been quiet for so long. Under contract, we’ve been unable to say a word, or -more importantly – tell the truth”
The game was soon up as the penultimate tweet read: “Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks) ask ‘How do I shut down Twitter?'” The final one summarising the thoughts of possibly many who have, or will in future face a similarly conclusive situation: “So really, what have we to lose? It’s been a pleasure folks! Best wishes to you all!”
Within 20 minutes of the first tweet, all had been deleted. HMV has so far declined to comment on the tweets or the circumstances surrounding them. What has been confirmed, is that 190 redundancies have been made at head office and across its distribution network. No redundancies have yet been made in stores, but the Twitter stream appears to give an indication of what can be expected.
When the employment relationship turn sour, it’s important for a company to retain control of all outlets, particularly if it is a public facing business. In this case, it’s unlikely that the employees themselves will suffer any detriment – the writing has most probably been on the wall for a while – but until a dismissal is final, there can sometimes be a way back from a redundancy, but only if you keep the relationship warm and your record blemish free.