The blog has received an email from a Lush employee. I’m going to post it here unedited.
“I truly can’t believe what has happened now!
Lush have organised a November managers meeting. More about that in a bit. The first time they did this November meeting was in 2011 when all managers had to go down to Poole just for one night to receive some important information about the way that head office structure was changing – like when the helping hands department was set up and who was running which department.
Hello all Managers,
It’s the season to have fun and be jolly and this year we would like you to join us in the captivating city of Amsterdam for Marks Special Party!!
“Just a little bit excited for the Novembers Managers Meeting……Amstadam”“How very exciting – a well deserved treat” (yes, it’s only been 2 months since the last 5* Christmas managers meeting, another piss up and Christmas meal.
“What if you’ve not got a current Passport?”
“I reckon there’ll be a few of us without a passport, and like xxxx says, even if you get fast track or premium you could wait up to 3 weeks for an appointment to order the passport. Really hope they can extend the booking form. Be a shame to miss out.”
“Amsterdam is completely out of the question for me. I don’t have a passport and nor can I afford the £75 to get one. Living in xxxxxx, there’s no fast track office nearby either. Not only that, but personal reasons too; A 5* hotel in Amsterdam during this whole Christmas festival sounds absolutely fantastic, really really amazing and I want to go so badly, but I just cant. Honestly, this is supposed to be a motivating meeting but I feel really flat because I know that I’m missing out now. But in all, I really hope that the managers who can make it have a good time!
“i do think if it’s a mandatory meeting outside of the UK, it would only be fair if Lush paid for Passports for managers who don’t already have one. Who can afford £100 odd for fast track when we cant even heat our homes properly without being on debt?!”
To which the reply was: “You need a passport whichever form of transport you take, I managed to get a passport in one day from the london passport office. Obviously that was just a replacement so completely new applications will prob take longer. Hope everybody gets I sorted!
“Sorry, my point was that are we not supposed to be limiting air travel where possible? I don’t see this event as being business critical especially in these financially difficult times.”
Person B replied: “Oh right. Yeah I can see what you mean but rallying the troops and motivating is highly important too. You could say they same of the store Xmas parties. I know they do not cost the same as this but collectively that’s a lot of money that we spend and that’s just a lovely way for us to thank our teams and celebrate how amazing we are, i guess what i mean by that is in both cases christmas will still happen next year without it but its still an amazing thing for lush to provide us. Obviously, we’ve never gone to Amsterdam but this November meeting has happened for a few years now, so Whoever makes the decision on these meetings does see it as business critical or at least business effective else it wouldn’t get done xx”
(Person A): “I’m happy that you get motivation from attending such meetings, I really am, but where is the motivation for everyone else? What motivation do I get when myself and the rest of xxxx had our bonus scheme removed 4 months ago and have not received a penny for project based bonuses that were previously agreed. The November meeting could quite easily be held in the UK, putting the managers up in a 5 star hotel is just a smack in the face to those of us who are struggling to make ends meet. I am aware that others are in similar situations but that does not excuse the fact that this event could just as easily take place in the UK and at a lower cost. How about investing in your staff, so everyone is recognised and has some standard of living, people keep falling for these quick fixes of fun rather than stable good salaries and achievable bonuses. “
Someone else jumped in with: “European managers coming to the U.K. Vs uk managers going to Europe. I’d imagine the cost is similar? Either way I’m excited” (there are far less euro managers and no need for head office staff to fly out to Amsterdam if it was held in the UK, so it would cost less and be better for the environment with far less flights.
(Person A): Ok, I didn’t realise that this was a European managers meeting as well, so that means even more expense. I would be interested to see the budget for this event, it’s probably as ludicrous as the Lushfest events! I hope you all enjoy getting drunk at the expense of other peoples bonuses.”
And some further comments: “Well, well, well this explains why the front line staff eg shop floor didn’t get a Xmas box !!!!! Thanks for being so kind to the people that actually make the money for this company feeling really motivated for crimbo now NOT !!!!”
“Guys, I think we should all calm down and put things into perspective… it isn’t like they are being flown out of the country for a boozy trip 5 weeks before the biggest and most important time of the year for the company that single handedly keeps it afloat…. oh… wait…”
“We’ll have fun in Amsterdam everyone while the lowly shop floor staff sell their butts off to make sure managers get all the treats, feeling very let down”
Sadly these staff will probably get the sack now for speaking out of turn and not being pleased for their managers or pro Lush.
This Amsterdam trip will clearly motivate everyone and will help bring the staff and management together as one big happy family. Just shows Lush’s lack of any business sense whatsoever. But I’m sure a good time will be had by all. One Lush! “
As far as I’m concerned, Lush can spend their money how they want. But I am appalled (yet not surprised, unsurprisingly) that they are flying their staff around Europe for a party. Remember, Lush are very vocal about their commitment to the environment and they support Plane Stupid, as discussed in this Guardian article from 2008. But they’re paying to fly their staff around for a night on the ran-dan that could easily have taken place in the UK. What utter hypocrites.
If any of the staff who have commented negatively on the facebook page are reading this, I urge you to join an appropriate union straight away. Protect yourselves. If Lush start to make life difficult for you because you’ve criticised their stupidity, you might need union help. Those of you who fear management action because you’re unable to attend (because you can’t afford to, or for any other reason), join a union, protect yourselves. And all those of you who are on minimum wage and have had your Christmas bonuses removed – it’s time for every single one of you to join an appropriate union, get organised, and start fighting for better terms and conditions.