Aussie department store Harvey Norman has been slammed on social media for a response on its official Twitter account to a purported former employee who claimed working for the company made them “suicidal”.
The backlash began on Friday when an anonymous account run by a person who claimed they once worked for the chain Tweeted at the company, accusing it of blocking people for talking about wage strikes taking place against the company.
"Working for your god forsaken company drove me to suicide in 6 months," they wrote.
"To the 50 people paid $200k a year to manage one account — go f*** yourselves."
In response, the @HarveyNormanAU account Tweeted two emojis — a face palm and a waving hand.
The day before the response, the same Harvey Norman Twitter handle had posted: “Twitter is no longer a customer service channel and is unmanned.”
Questions have been raised about whether or not the company is behind the Twitter account, or if it has been hacked. Yahoo News Australia has contacted Harvey Norman for comment.
Other Twitter users were quick to hit out at the company and encouraged each other not to shop at the chain.
“I made the decision to never step into one of their stores last year,” one man said.
“This is the most revolting, irresponsible response to a tweet containing sensitive health information I’ve seen from a corporate entity,” a woman wrote, saying she will never spend another cent there.
“Congrats Harvey Norman, you have lost me, my friends and family as customers,” another man said.
Employees protest outside stores
Harvey Norman has been the subject of scrutiny in recent months after its billionaire founder Gerry Harvey revealed it would not return $14.5 million in taxpayer-paid JobKeeper funds despite company profits increasing by 116 per cent during the pandemic.
Mr Harvey – one of the country's richest men – has also strongly opposed wage rises.
On Friday frustrated employees armed with signs protested in front of stores in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania, demanding wage increases.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions said in a press release that 2.2 million workers are in need of a pay rise and are calling for a 3.5 per cent increase.
”Harvey Norman saw the global pandemic as an ‘opportunity’, doubled its profits, benefited from a delay in the last increase in wages and then refused to pay back JobKeeper,” ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said.
“It’s now time for Harvey Norman to step up and support a 69 cent an hour pay rise. Prime Minister Morrison must also stop supporting big business’ calls for real wage cuts – what the economy needs now is people with money to spend.
“For many workers, a 3.5 per cent increase would make a significant difference after nearly a decade of low wage growth.”
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