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Every glimmer of hope for labor in the US comes with a grim counterpoint. For every statewide increase in minimum wage, there apparently is an example of companies asking employees to dance for their supper.
Video game retailer GameStop made that very close to literal this week when they asked stores around the country to take part in a TikTok dance contest. Among the prizes? More available hours to staff the store during Black Friday sales.
That’s right. GameStop is asking employees to dance for the ability to work during a holiday shopping rush. The Incisiv TikTok Challenge asks stores to put together a routine to the UB40 song “Red Red Wine.” The winning store will receive an Echo 8, Echo Auto, Visa gift card worth $100, and "10 additional labor hours" to work during the week of Black Friday.
"The prize for winning is that two employees that barely get hours get one more shift one week," wrote one employee. "That's how I see it at least."
"It’s not like some of us have holiday help to hire and train in 3 weeks and prefer to not be on tik tok," wrote another.
GameStop has a reputation as a bit of an employee-unfriendly place, and did itself no favors when it tried to power ahead through the coronavirus crisis by being deemed an essential business. That only got worse when employees reported that they were told to wear plastic bags on their hands as protection in lieu of proper PPE.