The Republican National Convention is quickly approaching and Guitar Center worker, Mike Stuart, is gearing up for his trip to Tampa Bay, FL at the end of the month. As Mitt Romney prepares to officially accept the nomination as the Republican Presidential Candidate, Stuart and other low-wage workers will speak out against his vision for the economy.
Mike Stuart is one of thousands of workers struggling to make ends meet and a raise in the current minimum wage would allow him and thousands of others earn a decent living. Here’s what Mike has to say about how a Romney economy:
“My Name is Mike and I’m an assistant manager at Guitar Center, getting paid $7.25 an Hr. I‘ve been at Guitar Center for 5 years now and I have not gotten one raise. I once asked for a raise, and they told me “We don’t do that kind of thing here.” So, here I am, an assistant manager getting paid 7.25.
A year after I began working at Guitar Center, Bain Capital took over and since the takeover I have seen drastic changes, especially to the commission structure, which is now set up for complete failure.
With the Bain takeover Guitar Center has turned into a revolving door and has pushed out knowledgeable, quality employees who just want a decent wage so they can take care of their families while doing something they love. I’m one of those employees who loves everything about music and it is a joy to pass my knowledge to other people and help them make music. However, the excitement and enthusiasm I once had for this job quickly faded once I realized that I could barely keep my head above water with what they are still paying me, which again is 7.25.
I’m a college graduate struggling to find a new job. I’m 29 and still can’t afford to live without a roommate. The only employment I could find was this job that is in NJ. Which makes me rely on my car everyday to get back and forth to work. Living paycheck to paycheck does not give enough room to deal with unexpected costs – like, if something were to happen to my car leaving me unable to get to my job.
As I said earlier, at Guitar Center we rely on commission, which fluctuates every month especially during these summer months when folks go away on vacation. For example last month after paying rent, utilities, and phone bills I was left with just under $100, which has to last for 2 weeks until the next payday. If I’m struggling I have no idea how my co-workers are making ends meet, some being single dads and others with loved ones in the hospital.
I know my story is one of thousands and this is why I’m here, urging congress to support all of us, not just the rich corporations, by putting everyday working Americans first and raising our minimum wage.”
Mike’s experiences working at Guitar Center are echoed by many others who work for Bain-owned companies. Bain Capital, which Romney co-founded and led for fifteen years, clearly illustrates what’s wrong with Romney’s vision for the economy: Their model is to enrich the 1% by taking over companies, siphoning profits, avoiding paying taxes, laying off workers and leaving crummy low-wage jobs for everyone else.