Geek Squad's Unionizing Efforts Met By Best Buy's Concerned Bulk Email

Emails are shooting around to Geek Squad employees, encouraging them to join the Communications Workers of America union, so Best Buy retorts with emails of its own to voice its concerns. In an email sent by corporate management, Best Buy spoke of its concerns about unions, that unions would hinder its ability to speak with and negotiate with each Geek Squad employee individually. For, there’s nothing like the closeness created when one employee negotiates with a hydra. That’s just one fun piece of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in the email, posted inside…

Good morning:

Each of you may have been receiving emails from anonymous individuals identifying his/herself as Wilt Chamberlain, Double Agent, Geek Squad, Agent Agent or Magic Johnson. These emails from an anonymous sender(s) are asking you to ‘unite’, directing you to the Communication Workers of America (CWA), directing you to a Forum and soliciting signatures on a petition for legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

http://www.cwa-union.org/
http://tellthem.forumotion.net/

http://www.freechoiceact.org

First, none of the emails are being generated by the company or by a manager.

We have been having meetings with you, asking everyone to voice their opinions and asking everyone to help solve the problems we collectively face in tough economic times. Your input is important. We do not solicit input anonymously.

Each of you was selected because of your professional experience, attitude and skills. Every single member of the Geek Squad should be proud of your personal contribution to the accomplishments of the team. You have each helped establish a brand that millions of people recognize and respect.

Economic times are tough right now.

Modifications are needed to get through this difficult time. This is happening in every company in America. Today, we are in a lot stronger position than most companies.. Economic times fluctuate. Decisions have to be made in both good times and in tough times. We always want your input. We want to hear your voice, your concerns and want to make changes in a respectful manner. We want to continue to work with you directly so that questions can be answered and so that misunderstandings can be addressed without filters. And we also recognize that as a management team we sometimes fail to follow the best processes – never intentionally – but your direct feedback and input helps all of us learn to be better in the future in service of our employee and customer.

One email suggested that Best Buy is afraid of Unions.

We are not afraid – We are concerned.

We are concerned about being able to talk with you directly.

We are concerned about being able to continue to get your feedback, input and suggestions in an open forum.

We are concerned that a union could result in a lack of flexibility to address market conditions, customer desires and your own desires and needs.

To whoever is using the name of the great Wilt Chamberlain.

Over the last thirty years, union membership has dropped from 35% of total workers to just over 7% of the private sector. Did you ever ask yourself why any business loses market share? In one email the CWA is mentioned. To find out more about the CWA, take the time to search around the links at http://unionfacts.com/unions/unionProfile.cfm?id=188

THE EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT

One anonymous email asks you to sign a petition supporting EFCA.

First, opinions on political issues and candidates are personal issues, and we believe that each individual’s opinion needs to be respected. This is one of the strengths of our company, and a basic tenet of democracy.

We are concerned about the EFCA because it will infringe on an individual’s right to express their opinion in a secret ballot government conducted election.

Under this legislation, employees do not get to vote in a secret ballot election but rather if a union gets 50%+1 of the employees to sign a union authorization card all 100% are considered unionized – without a vote. In fact, 49% + X may not even have a voice in the decision or process. And it is possible that any union authorization cards signed today may be held by a union and count as a ‘yes’ vote if the law changes. People may be stripped of their right to vote “no” after signing a card today.

We are also concerned that employees may lose their voice in the workplace under this legislation. Under current law, a company and union negotiate a contract to completion and then the employees get to vote yes or no on accepting the terms and conditions of the contract. Under this proposed legislation, the company and union are to negotiate for a specified time period and if an agreement is not reached, a federal arbitrator will decide the content of the contract. The employees get no say. That denies employees the right to vote on accepting or rejecting the contract.

We are also, concerned that EFCA may have a negative impact on Best Buy’s business model. Our business model works because we can deal directly with our employees and react quickly to changing business needs. The introduction of a third party into that relationship, may limit our ability to serve our customers in the way that we do now.

We encourage each of you to learn as much as you can about EFCA, and to form your own opinion about whether or not you believe it is something that is in the best interest of our brand and our company.

You can also express your opinion, whatever it may be, to the anonymous email authors.

If you disagree with the anonymous senders, it is your decision and you can show your disagreement in any lawful manner including responding to the emails of the anonymous senders. If you agree with the anonymous senders, it is your decision and you can show your support in any lawful manner.. It is your choice.

Let me say that we are not afraid of unions at Best Buy. We truly believe that union representation is not in the best interests of the company, our customers or our employees. If you have any issues, concerns or ideas please do not hesitate to talk to your immediate supervisor or reach out to me.

In closing, let me say that we are betting the farm on our employees. What we are concerned about is putting something or someone between our employees and their supervisors that eliminates transparency, honesty and our ability to win with our customers by creating a world class experience for each of our employees. Feel free to reach out share your thoughts, ideas or concerns to me at anytime. You can contact me at Christian.Babb@BestBuy.com.

Thank you,

Chris Babb

(Photo: ob1left)