Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bain Capital Continues War on American Workers

Workers at the iconic music retailer Guitar Center are seeing their wages slashed and their benefits gutted by none other than Bain Capital. 

Bain is using every tool at its disposal to mine every nickel of short-term profit it can before it flips the company to the highest bidder -- and that means clawing back workers' hard earned commissions and insurance. Workers have been fighting internally for better working conditions -- and now they need our support as they go toe-to-toe with management next month. 

It’s getting harder and harder to survive for Guitar Center employees, so they have asked the company to sit down and talk about the declining workplace standards. Non-sales workers barely get paid more than minimum wage and rarely get raises, part-time workers don’t receive any health benefits and almost never receive paid sick days or vacation time. And sales staff have had their commissions slashed -- meaning that it is becoming nearly impossible to survive on as little as $7.25 per hour.

But employees are coming together to address these problems. They are organizing with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and asking the company to recognize their union and negotiate for a fair contract. 

Bain Capital bought Guitar Center in 2007 and now the private equity firm is slashing wages and benefits while at the same time expecting more from employees. Mandatory sales targets are increasing and employees are being forced to do more and more non-sales work, making it even harder to reach these new targets. Unless employees sell enough extended warranties to customers, their commissions take a hit.

Guitar Center continues to ignore workers' concerns and has even gone so far as to force its employees into meetings designed to intimidate them into not joining a union. But workers are fighting back against this oppressive behavior.

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney. The venture capital firm is known for buying up companies in order to sell off any productive assets, while squeezing every last penny out of employees. When it's done, the remaining scraps are sold off to the highest bidder and Bain moves on to its next victim. 

With Bain Capital’s track record, these workers need us to have their backs. Let Bain Capital know you support their right to come together for a fair workplace.

Prominent musicians such as Tom Morello, Kathleen Hanna (Le Tigre, Bikini Kill), Ted Leo and Billy Bragg have come out in support of workers. Will you join them? Sign this petition to Bain Capital to let it know that you support its employees' rights to unionize for a fair workplace!

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