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Help Guitar Center Employees Earn a Fair Wage


Guitar Center

It’s easy to make fun of Guitar Center and the culture therein, but I’m guessing that the majority of musicians who frequent MetalSucks purchase some if not all of their gear from the musical instrument superstore. And it’s only fair that the people who work there — who, in many cases, are in bands themselves — get paid a fair wage. Unfortunately ever since the investment group Bain Capital bought Guitar Center wages have been slashed, standards in the workplace have devolved and benefits have been cut.

So the workers of Guitar Center in New York City are attempting to do something about it: through a petition on MoveOn.org’s SignOn.org platform they’re launching a unionization effort to gain leverage in negotiating fair compensation for themselves. Here’s an excerpt from the petition:

But there’s been a problem ever since the company was bought by Bain Capital. Now, those of us who are non-sales workers barely get paid more than minimum wage and rarely get raises. Guitar Center doesn’t offer part time workers health benefits and we almost never receive paid sick days or vacation time. The sales workers amongst us used to have decent commissions and benefits but now our commissions have been cut. We also don’t get paid sick days and we can make as little as 7.25/hr. We have ever increasing mandatory sales requirements but we are being forced to do more and more non-sales work that makes it harder to reach those requirements. If we don’t sell enough Pro Coverage (aka “extended warrantees”), our commissions take a hit.

So we decided to come together and address these problems. We are organizing with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and we are asking the company to recognize our union and negotiate for a fair contract. With Bain Capital’s track record, we need your support. Let Bain Capital know you support our right to come together for a fair workplace.

If you like Guitar Center because you buy all your gear there you should sign this petition to ensure the people who sling your strings are kept happy. If you hate Guitar Center because they’re a soul-less big-box retailer you should sign this petition to fuck their corporate overlords in the arse. Really, there’s no reason not to sign. Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Ted Leo, Sergio Vega and others have already done so. Get on it!

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