Demonstration By San Francisco Workers Calls for Higher Wages, Stable Schedules

Last week, one hundred San Francisco workers and labor activists marched through the Union Square shopping district calling for a $15 minimum wage and fair schedules. Recently, dramatic strikes by fast food and Walmart workers demanding $15 an hour and access to full-time schedules have touched off a national conversation about the growing industry of low-wage service work. Last week’s demonstration by low-wage employees of high-profit companies echoed the ongoing call for better wages and stable schedules. The rally centered around supporting several recent city ordinances gaining momentum in San Francisco. In November, voters will decide on Proposition J, a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage from $10.74 to $12.25 the next year and to $13, $14 and then $15 in subsequent years. Proposition J also includes an automatic cost of living adjustment in following years. The increase would put San Francisco’s minimum wage as the highest in the nation and could benefit as many as 142,000 San Francisco workers. But many argue that such a significant increase may not even be enough if workers don’t have access to consistent schedules. In response, demonstrators were calling for the city’s Board of Supervisors to pass the Retail Worker Bill of Rights, a package of policies that would promote full-time work as well as require some employers to provide stable and predictable schedules to employees. The legislation, proposed by a coalition of labor and community groups and spearheaded by Jobs With Justice San Francisco, represents a groundbreaking way to address the crisis of involuntary part-time work and unpredictable schedules that make it difficult for people working part-time to get a...
Retail Workers Bill of Rights Introduced at Board of Supervisors

Retail Workers Bill of Rights Introduced at Board of Supervisors

Written by Mackenzie Baris, Jobs With Justice | Reposted from JWJ.org Despite its high minimum wage, San Francisco has the second-highest rate of income inequality among major U.S. cities. One of the reasons why people aren’t earning enough money to make ends meet in the Bay Area, and across the country, is because they can’t get sufficient hours at their jobs. And then there are workers facing unpredictable schedules that make it impossible for them to properly care for their families, hold down second jobs, or pursue an education. That’s why it’s so exciting that a coalition of workers, labor, community and advocacy groups in the Bay Area has come together to tackle the escalating crisis of unjust hours and unstable schedules that workers in the low-wage retail sector face. On July 29th, this coalition, led by Jobs With Justice San Francisco, teamed up with Supervisors Eric Mar and David Chiu to introduce the Retail Workers Bill of Rights to hold the city’s largest retailers, restaurant chains, hotels and banks accountable for creating better quality jobs. The proposed ordinance aims to strengthen protections for retail workers held hostage by on-call scheduling, diminished hours and discriminatory treatment by employers on the basis of their part-time employment status. Why is the Retail Workers Bill of Rights a solution? Too many people aren’t just living paycheck to paycheck, they’re living hour to hour. Large companies like Walmart and McDonald’s schedule workers with too few hours on too short notice, putting them in a no-win situation. Not only do these jobs typically pay poorly, but workers are regularly required to be on call or...