Best Buy’s Geek Squad votes union

Management petrified of it snowballing

IT LOOKS LIKE the old saying, “management gets the union it deserves” is coming to pass at Best Buy, or at least beginning to in parts of its Geek Squad division. We hear that some of them just voted by an overwhelming margin to go union.

While unions range across the board in quality, the smaller ones in particular tend to do a lot to protect their members and keep abusive management at bay. Having several friends who worked at Best Buy’s Geek Squad (GS) division, I can say that many of the stories floating around about long hours, low pay, and lack of training are nothing new. The company sorely needs a union.

In the Pacific Northwest, a group of Best Buy workers, specifically one chunk of the Geek Squad, apparently got so fed up with mistreatment that they just voted to go union. We hear that Best Buy’s management, both locally and at headquarters, is absolutely livid over it. Their worst nightmare is that word about this vote will spread, prompting more locales to unionize.

Can you imagine how much management bonuses would have to fall in order to pay workers a fair wage and train them properly? The horror! If you look at how well it reacted the last time the notion was floated, it just shows that Best Buy’s management cares – just not about its employees.

Friends on the inside tell us that Best Buy prefers to promote Geek Squad personnel from sales to technical because it finds it easier to teach a sales droid to follow a trouble-shooting flowchart – especially if it has lots of pictures and not too many big words – than to indoctrinate a seasoned, knowledgable technician to upsell bling and push expensive extended warrantees.

See why it is afraid of unions? Standards, training, fair wages, fair hours, and in general, being good to employees could wreak havoc on Best Buy top management’s stock options for several quarters.

From what we understand, Best Buy management is desperately trying to keep a lid on this ‘problem’ and wants to keep it from ‘snowballing’. One brave soul described management as “freaked out”.

If you too are worried about whether management at Best Buy will have to wait another quarter to get that new V12 Mercedes, please don’t spread the news. In fact, don’t tell anyone how scared it is of unionization and how Geek Squad workers in the Northwest voted by more than 75% to unionize.

If this spreads, a little more of Best Buy’s wealth might be distributed to the people who actually generate it. How anti-capitalist is that?S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate