Along with higher minimum wages, workers need jobs with fair schedules: reliable, predictable hours so people can budget and plan for childcare, second jobs, education, and rest.
Moriah Larkins, a retail worker and member of our partner organization Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), said it best: “When I didn’t have a regular schedule, my supervisor would put me down for only 16 hours and then schedule me last minute. I had to scramble to find childcare for my baby, and I sometimes worked six days a week and didn’t see him. But now I work for a different company, have regular hours, can spend time with my son, and finish my nursing degree.”
In 2016, EBASE collaborated with ACCE, the Center for Popular Democracy, and East Bay workers to push for a scheduling ordinance in Emeryville. In October 2016, we won big when Emeryville City Council voted unanimously 5-0 to pass a Fair Workweek policy with no loopholes!
The policy mandates that large corporate retail chains and fast food companies provide schedules two weeks in advance so workers can budget and plan their lives. Workers are compensated for last minute changes in schedules. And when more hours become available, existing workers get priority so they can get closer to full-time work.
East Bay cities like Emeryville and Oakland were ahead of the curve on raising the minimum wage, setting the pace for California and the nation. It should be no different with Fair Scheduling policies, which also exist in San Francisco and Seattle. EBASE is committed to spreading these policies to more cities in order to address rising income inequality and the epidemic of unpredictable hours in the retail and fast food industries.
With the highest minimum wage in the country AND fair scheduling, Emeryville reminds us what is possible when we organize to shift a once corporate-dominated town towards a community where working people can live, work and thrive.
The Fair Workweek campaign in Emeryville was led by Alliance for Californians for Community Empowerment, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and the Center for Popular Democracy, and endorsed by the Alameda Labor Council- AFL-CIO, Center for Law and Social Policy, East Bay Organizing Committee/Fight for $15, Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy, Parent Voices, Residents United for a Livable Emeryville, SEIU United Service Workers West, UNITE-HERE Local 2850, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, and more.