Friday, March 30, 2007

A Good Reason to Boycott Circuit City

Circuit City is sending a message to its best paid employees: Hit the bricks.

The electronics retailer has laid off 3,400 people who the chain says earned "well above" the local market rate for the kinds of jobs they held.
Not to worry though: They''ll be able to apply for their old positions -- at lower hourly wages.
No word on how many executives who are overpaid will be asked to quit.
More here.

Hat tip to Kevin Drum at The Political Animal


A Big Fat Slob said...

The article speculates that Circuit City's move is shortsighted because it fails to take inot account employee morale. That's bull. The employee morale is dictated by the paycheck in retail factories like that.

Where the Circuit City move is REALLY shortsighted is that ham-handed layoffs like this are precisely what cause the employees to unionize.

And isn't that really the answer -- better than boycotts (which, if effective, cost more low-wage workers their jobs). Better than boycotting, everyone should go to their local Circuit City and hand out links to union web sites and NLRB wbe sites on how organizaning workers are protected.

Shaun Mullen said...

Good idea, except that everyone caught unionizing would then get fired.

A Big Fat Slob said...

No doubt there is hardship in organizing workers. If it were easy . . . But, with employers like this, there is more hardship for more workers when they are not organized.

As you probalby know, it would be illegal to punish workers for trying to organize a union. It is done anyway, but, eventually, Circuit City will get slammed by the NLRB for that kind of conduct.

This is where a good union will step up and start sending unionizers into CC and start flooding CC with applications from union members. When their applicants are not hired, the union can then file complaints with the NLRB.

From there they should be able to negotiate a union drive, or force it through litigation. That way, they protect the current workers.

The problem is that the unions are not what they used to be and so many of them are run by self-interested goons. In many cases they do little to protect the minimum wage worker -- not enough of a margin in that.

Anonymous said...

Ive always liked CC for its knowledgable staff. Ive bought several items there over the years and Ive always gotten good info and advice from the workers. Sure I could save a little money if I go to Wally World, but if you ask a question you get a blank stare and an "Uhhh.... let me ask my manager."
If CC is going to be staffed with minimum wage earners who have no incentive to do better, there really is no reason to visit CC anymore.

Anonymous said...

Boycotting CC only hurts the 40,000 still employed.

Anonymous said...

Check out the biting satire of Circuit City at: