Milan shop punishes staff with press-ups

Thu, Mar 8, 2012, 00:00

DROPPING TO the floor and doing press-ups for punishment is a common experience for cadets at an army boot camp. But for shop assistants at one of Milan’s upmarket clothes stores, the policy has come as a rude shock.

Male staff at American-owned Abercrombie Fitch have been forced to do 10 press-ups each time they make a mistake, and female employees must do 10 squat thrusts, according to the union CGIL, which has complained about the policy.

An email sent to staff by a manager and obtained by the union states that the physical punishment will ensure “we will learn more from our mistakes”.

One former employee said staff would be ordered to perform the exercises in front of a manager for minor infractions.

Perfect abs are a key policy at the store, where young male assistants greet shoppers with torsos bared. “To ensure they have the right look, female staff are told to scrub their make-up off if they wear too much and men are ordered home to shave if they have stubble,” said a union officer, Graziella Carneri. – (Guardian service)