Limited Brand Workers Literally Work Graveyard Shift
By Tom Ryan
In an apparent
move to avoid layoffs, Limited Brands Inc. reassigned 25 warehouse employees
to help clean up Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio, for the month of
Tammy Roberts Myers told The Columbus Dispatch that
the workers were offered the alternate work option as a way to keep them
employed during the downturn. But it also was part of the retailer’s volunteerism
efforts. Limited Brands, the publicly-held owner of Victoria’s Secret and
Bath & Body Works, is based in Columbus.
passionately supports its associates in making a difference through volunteerism,” she
wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper. “This opportunity allowed us to support
our community while keeping our associates employed during a slower time
in the business. It was a positive outcome for everyone.”
were paid their normal salary by Limited Brands for their graveyard work.
The company also did not receive any tax credits or incentives for making
cleared brush and vegetation from an iron fence that surrounds the 380-acre
cemetery. Part of fence at the 161-year-old graveyard was also painted.
“They made the
cemetery look so much better, and we’ve gotten several calls from customers
saying it looks great,” said Linda Burkey, Green Lawn’s general manager.
She noted that this is the first time a company had its employee work 40
hour shifts at the cemetery.
noted that Ohio’s unemployment rate is 11.2 percent. Brian Harter, spokesman
for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, said he didn’t know
of any statistics on companies pursuing alternative options for workers
during slow times.
with the economy is so unique right now, companies are going to look for
different ways to do things,” Mr. Harter said.
Questions: What do you think of Limited Brand’s move to find alternative,
volunteer work for its employees? As a shareholder, would you be happy
with the move?