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  1.  permalink
    We should pick a date and all strike on the same day. For those of you here who are still employed...
  2.  permalink
    I can remember 10+ years ago somebody tried to start a union at my store and it went nowhere. Randy showed up and thanked everybody and then the leader got fired. In reality in 2019 I doubt Fry's could meet any demands save for not fire you tomorrow. Honestly, I am shocked as many employees have stayed as long as they have.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlie
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2019
     permalink
    Former_Frys_geek: I can remember 10+ years ago somebody tried to start a union at my store and it went nowhere. Randy showed up and thanked everybody and then the leader got fired. In reality in 2019 I doubt Fry's could meet any demands save for not fire you tomorrow. Honestly, I am shocked as many employees have stayed as long as they have.
     
     
    LOL what was the leader thinking? You're supposed to keep it low key.
  3.  permalink
    It has been over a decade, but my recollection was that the guy trying to organize did it in the store. It could be pretty easy to pick out on the security camera I would assume. Honestly the problem was at the time for retail Fry's was paying decent at least for retail. Even a rather average salesperson in computer sales could earn $15/hr. Some of the top guys at my store I can remember were pulling >$1000/week in commission (i.e. >$25/hr) just off commission. Add $7/hr for min wage at the time in CA and I knew guys making >$30/hr working at Fry's back in 2007. That worked out to >$60K/year, which adjusted for inflation that would be >$80K for a retail sales job. Not too shabby. Most were making closer to $30-40K/year, but a lot of people just assumed that they would eventually start making the "big" dollars. I think the problem is with a system like that that dangles relatively decent pay potential in front of people they assume that messing with the system would be a risk that they aren't willing to take even though the average person probably wasn't ever going to make the big bucks in any given week nevermind consistently week in and week out.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlie
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     permalink
    Former_Frys_geek: It has been over a decade, but my recollection was that the guy trying to organize did it in the store. It could be pretty easy to pick out on the security camera I would assume. Honestly the problem was at the time for retail Fry's was paying decent at least for retail. Even a rather average salesperson in computer sales could earn $15/hr. Some of the top guys at my store I can remember were pulling >$1000/week in commission (i.e. >$25/hr) just off commission. Add $7/hr for min wage at the time in CA and I knew guys making >$30/hr working at Fry's back in 2007. That worked out to >$60K/year, which adjusted for inflation that would be >$80K for a retail sales job. Not too shabby. Most were making closer to $30-40K/year, but a lot of people just assumed that they would eventually start making the "big" dollars. I think the problem is with a system like that that dangles relatively decent pay potential in front of people they assume that messing with the system would be a risk that they aren't willing to take even though the average person probably wasn't ever going to make the big bucks in any given week nevermind consistently week in and week out.
     
     
    It's mentality like that that keeps people complacent and managers in full control. You never know when an economic downturn can occur, nor if the company will start taking a serious downturn. Workers had nothing to lose and everything to gain by organizing. I guarantee you they'd get commission and hourly, and have to hire merchandisers to do the menial work everyone hated.  
     
    Las Vegas bartenders, who are part of the national Culinary Union, make an average of $100k when you factor in their hourly pay, tips, health insurance and job security. Economy going bad? Business slow? Who cares, they'll still get paid.
  4.  permalink
    Charlie:
    Former_Frys_geek: It has been over a decade, but my recollection was that the guy trying to organize did it in the store. It could be pretty easy to pick out on the security camera I would assume. Honestly the problem was at the time for retail Fry's was paying decent at least for retail. Even a rather average salesperson in computer sales could earn $15/hr. Some of the top guys at my store I can remember were pulling >$1000/week in commission (i.e. >$25/hr) just off commission. Add $7/hr for min wage at the time in CA and I knew guys making >$30/hr working at Fry's back in 2007. That worked out to >$60K/year, which adjusted for inflation that would be >$80K for a retail sales job. Not too shabby. Most were making closer to $30-40K/year, but a lot of people just assumed that they would eventually start making the "big" dollars. I think the problem is with a system like that that dangles relatively decent pay potential in front of people they assume that messing with the system would be a risk that they aren't willing to take even though the average person probably wasn't ever going to make the big bucks in any given week nevermind consistently week in and week out.
     
     
    It's mentality like that that keeps people complacent and managers in full control. You never know when an economic downturn can occur, nor if the company will start taking a serious downturn. Workers had nothing to lose and everything to gain by organizing. I guarantee you they'd get commission and hourly, and have to hire merchandisers to do the menial work everyone hated.  
     
    Las Vegas bartenders, who are part of the national Culinary Union, make an average of $100k when you factor in their hourly pay, tips, health insurance and job security. Economy going bad? Business slow? Who cares, they'll still get paid.
     
     
    Charlie:
    Former_Frys_geek: It has been over a decade, but my recollection was that the guy trying to organize did it in the store. It could be pretty easy to pick out on the security camera I would assume. Honestly the problem was at the time for retail Fry's was paying decent at least for retail. Even a rather average salesperson in computer sales could earn $15/hr. Some of the top guys at my store I can remember were pulling >$1000/week in commission (i.e. >$25/hr) just off commission. Add $7/hr for min wage at the time in CA and I knew guys making >$30/hr working at Fry's back in 2007. That worked out to >$60K/year, which adjusted for inflation that would be >$80K for a retail sales job. Not too shabby. Most were making closer to $30-40K/year, but a lot of people just assumed that they would eventually start making the "big" dollars. I think the problem is with a system like that that dangles relatively decent pay potential in front of people they assume that messing with the system would be a risk that they aren't willing to take even though the average person probably wasn't ever going to make the big bucks in any given week nevermind consistently week in and week out.
     
     
    It's mentality like that that keeps people complacent and managers in full control. You never know when an economic downturn can occur, nor if the company will start taking a serious downturn. Workers had nothing to lose and everything to gain by organizing. I guarantee you they'd get commission and hourly, and have to hire merchandisers to do the menial work everyone hated.  
     
    Las Vegas bartenders, who are part of the national Culinary Union, make an average of $100k when you factor in their hourly pay, tips, health insurance and job security. Economy going bad? Business slow? Who cares, they'll still get paid.
     
     
    Casinos aren't retail stores so I don't think that's a good analogy at all. You would really want to look at unions in retail stores. That being said you might want to look back at how many casinos closed or at the very least did layoffs in Vegas during the recession if you think that jobs in Vegas hotel/casinos are recession proof. Even those that didn't lose their jobs saw tips fall off the cliff. I can remember going to Vegas in 2008 and many of the employees barely had any customers to help that could tip them. The entertainment industry is not very recession proof and Nevada saw some of the highest unemployment rates in the recession. No union is going to save your job if management badly mismanages the business (e.g. Frys). It could buy you some more notice of your layoff, but for a company that is clearly failing that isn't a huge concession.  
     
    Having hindsight I don't see how a union would have made sticking around Fry's much longer than I did a very good career choice. A union wouldn't have made Fry's business any more sustainable. Fry's in an industry (retail electronics) that been shrinking for over a decade with more customers flocking away from retail and those that still shop retail increasingly care less about experienced employees. Hence, that is part of the reason Best Buy has survived despite having few salespeople that stick around for years. My local Fry's stick has a couple people that have been there for decades. I've never heard of that in Best Buy, but familiar faces don't seem to be an important factor for retail anymore. Even looking back I'm skeptical that a union would have done much to improve pay. Looking at relevant retail unions doesn't offer a lot of evidence to make you think it would have done much. At the time I was earning more at Fry's than what the typical unionized Costco employee down the street, but wasn't paying union dues for it so having "everything" to gain is hardly a sure thing. It is also funny that I remember talking to one of the Costco employees that had worked at both the union vs the non-union stores and said that ironically the non-union store paid slightly better. The only advantage he said for the union store was that it was a bit hardly to get fired at a unionized store. Considering Fry's pretty much only fired people who were the most abject screwups I'm not sure why that was something that would have offered me or most employees much value. If anything Fry's should have fired more people not less. When the "great" union pay wasn't much better it seemed hard to get excited.  
     
    While Fry's back then was well paying for retail it was still ultimately retail and even being far above average compared to most retail stores you still were hustling a lot to make that money. Even before the recession hit I could see the early signs that sales were falling in a big way back in 2007. NewEgg was already eating heavily into component sales and Amazon was already starting to become a growing competitor. You didn't need a time machine to know that the future of retail electronics even back then didn't look good. I'm honestly surprised my local Fry's is even in business. I predicted back then that I wouldn't be surprised if my local store if not he entire chain would go out of business in 10 years later (2017) although to be fair Fry's is such an empty shell now that anything I would recognize as Fry's died at least a year or two ago. Today I'm earning quite a bit more than the highest paying salesperson at Fry's 15 years ago even adjusted for inflation and I didn't need to go into tens of thousands of dollars to do it either. The few people from Fry's from that era where I know where they are working these days are doing far better than virtually any retail job even a unionized one could ever hope to pay. For most people leaving Fry's was their best career move by a long shot. There simply aren't the type of profit margins to make retail electronics sales a lucrative job anymore. That ship sailed a long time ago.  
     
    Employees trying to strike today would be trying to get blood out of a turnip. The writing has been on the wall for Fry's for a while now. Most customers see the stores as dead. I can't believe any employee with an IQ above room temperature couldn't see the writing on the wall. It's sad because at least for some college kid it wasn't a bad job back in the day.