Call to boycott Honey Birdette Oktoberfest Costume over harass

  • IT’S ONE of Oktoberfest Costume the most lucrative days of the year for lingerie sellers, but one label has been hit by a PR nightmare.

    Australians preparing for a saucy evening are being urged swimwear manufacturer to snub Honey Birdette, a label known for its raunchy designs and on-brand sales assistants, amid allegations of workplace harassment and bullying.

    Dozens of the young women and their supporters descended on the retailers headquarters in Sydneys Surry Hills on Tuesday in a protest timed to coincide with Valentines Day.

    Its the latest stunt in an ongoing campaign against what the companys former workers say is a sexist working environment where employees are forced to wear lingerie and heels in-store.

    News.com.au has previously reported on Honey Birdettes controversial staff handbook, which an ex-worker claimed instructed staff to pout and use phrases like come hither and spank me if Im wrong when dealing with customers.

    Then when a male shopper began detailing a rape fantasy while alone with her in the store, former employee Chanelle Rogers said, her manager told her to just focus on her sales target.

    I saw workers humiliated and threatened by management because they werent wearing perfectly applied lipstick all day, their heels werent high enough, and because they didnt talk the way a Honey should talk。liedry158

    Its disgraceful and it needs to end. Workers at Honey Birdette boutiques have a right to feel safe and respected at work.

    — Grobsnjwth  February 13, 2017 At the Valentines Day protest, former staff members wielded signs detailing their nightmare encounters.

    I was followed by me after my shift ended, one young womans sign revealed. I was told that it was part of the job.

    Another declared: I only did a trial shift, but it was too horrific to return.

    Theyve urged lingerie shoppers to take their business to rival brands like Victorias Secret, where staff members are not required to dress in sexy underwear.

    Former Honey Birdette workers are calling for a boycott.Source:Facebook

    Ex-employee Harriet told Fairfax Media that she was whipped by a customer with a riding crop, but received no support after the incident.

    The workplace culture encouraged staff to put up with harassment to boost sales, she said, citing a sales boot camp where the then national manager bragged about turning a case of harassment, in which a male customer offered her cash for sexual services, into a $1000 sale.

    I was 19 years old, had never worked in retail before. I didnt feel I had any place to speak up or try and protect myself, she said.

    — Claire Boland February 14, 2017 Union organisers at The Young Workers Centre say they have details of hundreds of similar claims by current and former Honey Birdette staff, most of them young women, accusing management of ignoring the problem.

    They are demanding that chief executive Eloise Monaghan dubbed Queen B introduce a safe uniform where women can wear flats rather than stilettos and be free to cover up rather than wearing lingerie.

    The campaign also calls for policies and training to deal with harassment and bullying from customers.

    An earlier petition and protest at a Melbourne Central store received 7500 signatures in support.

    Honey Birdette management hasnt directly responded to the complaints, but have described the allegations as mistruths.