End Hardship at the REI Co-Op!We are part-time retail employees who work for one of the most reputable outdoor retailers and cooperatives in the country, Recreational Equipment, Inc. REI is known not only for its remarkable stewardship of the outdoors, but also for its down to earth image as a retailer that ‘authentically’ values its people—an image REI prides itself on and one which distinguishes the co-op from other large scale retailers. The truth of the matter is that a huge number of us are struggling with considerable hardship. We have tried to address our grim circumstances internally, but our corporate leaders and store mangers have turned a blind eye to our outcries. Although REI has enjoyed record profits for the last 3 years, hardship has become a way of life for most of us. While we comprise a vast majority of the retail positions at REI’s 145 and growing stores, none of us receive any real guarantees whatsoever. Such benefits are reserved for the very few full-time positions offered at REI. One of the primary causes for our hardship are the irregular hours we are subject to—ranging from 4 hours to 30 to 12 hours a week (or none at all)—making it nearly impossible for most of us to make ends meet. Another contributing factor is the lack of full-time opportunity that exists for REI’s retail employees. Very few store workers actually work full-time. For instance, in a store that is staffed with nearly 200 workers, only about 14 of these workers (outside of management positions) are guaranteed full-time hours. For the rest of us, we are at the mercy of REI’s frequent payroll cutbacks and its variable scheduling practices. None of REI’s part-time employees are guaranteed hours—not even 4 hours a week—because that is REI’s store policy. To exacerbate matters, employees are negatively impacted when REI hires more part-time workers during seasonal upswings in business, even though there are plenty of existing workers who are not getting enough hours. While REI claims that it has to hire more part-time employees to meet expected business demands, this is not true. There are many dedicated workers who desperately need to work more, but REI will not accommodate them. REI’s reluctance to make this commitment to its workforce, also impacts the few meaningful benefits that we could be eligible for, like health insurance. While REI boasts it offers health insurance to its part-time workforce, only employees who work a rolling average of 20 hours a week can receive it. Those employees who qualify for coverage can just as easily lose it, simply because of the frequent payroll cutbacks made at REI. Last year alone, we witnessed a large number of distressed colleagues who were fraught with panic, after they learned REI was dropping their coverage. As a united voice, we are demanding that REI make a commitment to its employees by giving us stable hours, offering us more full-time opportunity and putting an end to the practice of over-staffing its stores with so many part-time employees—that hardly any of us can get the hours we need to make ends meet. In addition, it is imperative that REI addresses our low wages. In light that we were told part-time employees would not be eligible for a Living Wage, our hardship is a testament that one is needed. When most REI part-time employees are starting at a wage of just over $10 an hour and it will take an estimated 20 years to earn a Living Wage, REI is not doing enough to provide for the well-being of its employees. Finally, part-time employees are requesting 3 weeks advance scheduling notice from the store managers who are responsible for scheduling. Typically employees receive a one weeks notice and this is not nearly enough time for those employees who need to plan for daycare, a second job, or school. We believe no REI employee should have to take desperate measures in order to survive their jobs at the REI Co-op. When employees are seeking emergency assistance from state and federal funded programs like food stamps, donating plasma to blood banks, participating in risky pharmaceutical experiments, living off credit cards and student loans, selling off their belongings or relying on loving parents to bail them out—REI is not doing enough to take care of its workforce. We’re tired of witnessing our colleagues in great despair at work (sometimes to the point of tears), after their hours have been reduced so drastically that they don’t know how they’re going to survive. To drive our message home, here’s a glimpse into what employees were saying after REI’s extraordinary #OptOutside campaign was announced last year. One employee stated, “I’m glad I’ll have at least one paid day in November (Black Friday).” Others exclaimed: “Are there any of us who can actually afford to get outside to our favorite outdoor spaces on Black Friday?” and “REI expects me to be stoked about #OptOutside, I can’t even afford a turkey for Thanksgiving!” That was our #OptOutside reality when REI’s amazing campaign took media by storm. With the support of our loyal members and the sympathetic guests who shop at REI, retail employees are demanding that REI authentically value us and treat us like the myth #OptOutside created. Hardship should not be a way of life for any of REI’s fiercely dedicated workers. Moreover, it was not the vision that our co-founders, Mary & Lloyd Anderson, had intended for us. It is time the REI Co-op revisit its roots as a true cooperative and value all its employees as much as the outdoors it is renown for preserving. #OptInChange for REI’s friendly green-vested ‘Inspired Guides’—The Andersons (the name we’ve adopted in honor of our co-founders, to represent all REI's working-class heroes). Thank you for your support!
Apple: Observe MLK DayI’m a huge fan of Apple products. Growing up, I didn't have access to technology at home but the first computer I ever used was an Apple computer at school. When I was finally able to purchase my first personal computer, I chose Apple not just for its intuitive design features but also because I believed that the brand represented values that I also hold-- values like innovation, individuality, and-- what I've always found singular and inspiring in a tech company-- humanity. For me, Apple has always represented a brand that puts people first. It's why I have always chosen Apple at home and why I am proud to use the company’s technology to advocate for civil rights every day at work. That’s also why I was disappointed to learn that the company does not extend these same principles to their employees and chooses not to provide Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for its employees. Despite its incredible reputation for innovation -- and despite using MLK’s image in its advertising -- Apple does not appear to “think different” when it comes to honoring Dr. King’s legacy. Many top Silicon Valley tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Ebay, Glassdoor, HP, LinkedIn, Square, and Uber observe this important federal holiday according to reports, but not Apple. In fact, a Bloomberg survey found that 37% of all US employers plan to observe MLK Day as a paid day off in 2015 -- the highest percentage yet. Apple has reportedly agreed to offer a donation of $50 to charity for each hour an employee volunteers for MLK Day of Service, but the company can and should do more by providing a day off for employees so that even more can fully participate and give back to their communities. As Coretta Scott King wrote, “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. It is a day of volunteering to… [build] the beloved community of his dream.” While Apple has generous vacation policies in many ways, as a leader in this area, Apple can surely participate in this important historic holiday as well. By joining other companies in observing MLK Day, Apple will demonstrate its commitment to a diverse staff and customer base and to the achievements of the civil rights movement. Please join me in asking Apple to “think different” on its stance on this policy and provide employees with a paid day off to observe MLK Day.
Chipotle: Bring Back our Vision Through Better Work ConditionsThis is important because we will lose many of our top performers who hold all 13 rare characteristics required to work here. We want to be able to give our customers extraordinary speedy service. This is also very important to resolve because there was a time when we all really did love working at Chipotle, otherwise we wouldn't have gone to such extreme measures to get our point across. Now employee morale is suffering because we're so understaffed and overworked. We all love this company because it stands for something uniquely great. We want to better this company, which starts by improving the work conditions of our everyday employees, the heart and soul of this company.
Coffee Tree: Stop Violating Basic Workers' RightsThis is a cry for workplace fairness at Coffee Tree. Employers have been utilizing intimidation tactics, shaming and manipulation, and retaliation to rob workers of their basic rights for too long, often taking advantage of employees' lack of familiarity with these work laws. Now is the time to cease these activities. Outlined below are the concerns and clear violations of workers' rights: STOP DENYING PAID REST BREAKS. (Under the ES.C.6 Meal and Rest Periods - Employees are entitled to a minimum 10 minute rest break for each 4 hours worked. The rest period of time must be scheduled as near as possible to the midpoint of the four hours of working time. No employee may be required to work more than three consecutive hours without a rest period). Employers have been exploiting the loophole ("if the nature of the work involves several intermittent rest periods equal to ten minutes, a rest break is not required") to deny workers a 10, even when workers have been working continuously. It's also important to note that the ES.C.6 specifies that a series of ten 1-minute breaks is not sufficient to meet this requirement. Many of us will experience shifts where we work longer hours than we were scheduled for, work continuously, and are entitled to a ten minute break but are either not made aware of this right, or are strongly discouraged from exercising this right. The restructuring of a workers' schedule into double 3.9 hr shifts as punishment for insisting on his or her 10 minute break, while not unlawful, is cheap and abominable. This redesigning not only limits the overall breaks for an employee during an entire workday, but also results in less employee satisfaction and production. Similarly, comparative shaming as a tool to discourage one or more employees from taking rest breaks creates a negative environment where employees don’t feel valued or secure. Employers must honor the work and time of an employee as evidenced in person or in surveillance which entitle the worker to his/her paid break. STOP TRYING TO RESTRICT BATHROOM ACCESS. According to DOSH, restroom breaks cannot be restricted (within reason) and do not count as a paid 10 minute rest break, though employees may choose to use the bathroom on their paid break. This is a basic health and safety right. Intimidating workers by recording length of bathroom breaks and using it as negative commentary in an employee file is despicable. STOP RETALIATING AGAINST EMPLOYEES ADVOCATING FOR THEIR RIGHTS. Concerted activity (activity done to address health/safety concerns or to improve the workplace conditions) is protected from acts of retaliation (firing, cutting of hours, creating unnecessary write-ups, wage/tip deduction). As an employee currently suffering a suspension from positive workplace actions, I am pushing for awareness that this action is not appropriate or legal. STOP UNLAWFUL WAGE DEDUCTIONS. In the training phase, we are told that cash drawer shortages, damage to the store, or excessive waste will result in our wages or tips being garnished to fill those losses. According to the Washington State Legislature (WAC 296-126-025): The only time a workers’ income (hourly wage and tips) should be garnished is with court orders, with a personal agreement with keeping a tab in the workplace, a loan, or some other extenuating circumstance. Cash shortages in tills, and accidental waste/breakage are specifically pointed out as being unlawful reasons for wage deduction. In addition, the employers have never been held accountable and continue to seize half of worker earned tips for themselves. Under FLSA, managerial and professional positions are not eligible to take a cut of tips from tipped employees. Coffee Tree employers must observe these laws, return money unlawfully taken from employees in the past, and cease this procedure altogether. Protecting quantifiable losses of the stores (time and money) at the expense of the businesses' most valuable commodity, the workers, is not lawful or virtuous. Let us strive not only for great coffee and customer care, but also great care of employees. Let us recognize when breaks are warranted. Let us thrive together.
Pricecutter Lack Of Hours & Low WagesStarbucks Licensee stores inside of the the Pricecutters are given little to no hours. The employees usually end up hating their lives because they spend 6-10 hours a day alone with long lines for long periods of time. They are not given any extra help! Also Pricecutter doesn't hire people on high enough wages no one can survive in this day of age with the pay they give out.
PMM Companies: Reinstate Me To My Job!My name is Deisy Velasquez, and I am a mother of three children originally from El Salvador. I was working at PMM Companies for a year and a half, cleaning classrooms at KIPP DC's Douglass campus. I was one of only two women working in the building who have children. They were very discriminatory towards us. If we asked for permission to take a day off to take our children to a doctor’s appointment, they would make us take off for a whole week in retaliation, without pay. The supervisor, Geovany, said many times that employees with children caused too many problems - and that he was no longer interested in hearing that we could not work when we couldn’t find childcare or for a doctor’s appointment. What interested him was the work, he acted like he didn't care about our families. Over the summer, I worked from 8am to 4pm. One day, I was told that they would immediately be changing my schedule to 12pm to 9pm. I told Geovany that he had to give me time to coordinate with my babysitter. He told me that if I didn’t like it, that I shouldn’t come back the rest of the week, or the next week. I called him the next Friday, and he didn’t answer. Geovany never answered my call - he told someone else to tell me that if he needed me that he would call me, and if he didn’t call me, then he didn’t need me anymore. He never called me, so I ended up being fired. I have tried to communicate with the central office of PMM Companies, but they told me that my complaints were childish and not important enough for them to handle. I tried to set up an appointment with them, and they canceled it without explanation and without any follow-up. It was devastating to lose my job right before my children went back to school. I did not have the money to buy them back to school supplies. My son's birthday is coming up and he is sad because I don't have money to celebrate. Now we are struggling to get by. I want PMM Companies to reinstate me to my position with my full time schedule, or for them to pay me a severance of two weeks’ wages for the harmful discrimination that I have faced. I also want PMM Companies to fully comply with DC’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and not make employees take off for a whole week in retaliation for taking a sick day. I don’t want anything bad for the company, I just want my job back. I’m not asking a lot, just my job back for the well-being of my children and my family. --------- Mi nombre es Deisy Velasquez, y soy madre de tres niños y originalmente soy del Salvador. Yo estuve trabajando en PMM Companies por año y medio, limpiando las aulas en la escuela KIPP DC Douglass. Era una de dos trabajadoras no más en el edificio que tengo hijos. Nos agarraron una discriminación contra nosotras. Si pidiéramos permiso para llevar a los hijos a una cita, nos mandaron a descansar una semana completa como represalia, y sin pago. Dijo el supervisor, Geovany, varias veces que las trabajadoras con niños causaron muchos problemas - que a él no le interesaba más que dijéramos que no podemos trabajar cuando no tenemos babysitting o para una cita. Lo que a él le interesaba era el trabajo, que no le importaba asuntos familiares. Durante el verano, yo trabaje de 8am a 4pm. Un día, me avisaron que iban a cambiar mi horario, de 12pm a 9pm. Yo le dije al Geovany que me tenía que decir con tiempo para hablar con mi babysitter que cuidaba los niños. De allí, el mandó a decirme que si no me gustaba, que no me preocupara en venir toda la semana, ni la semana que venia. Yo le llame el viernes, y no me contestó. A través de otra persona, Geovany me dijo que si me necesitaba que me iba a llamar, y si no que ya no me necesitaba. Nunca me llamo, asi que salí despedida. He tratado de comunicarme con la oficina central de PMM Companies, pero me han dicho que mis quejas son cosas de niñerias y no tan importantes como los asuntos que ellos atienden. Yo puse una cita con ellos y me la cancelaron sin explicación y sin darme seguimiento. Fue un desastre para mi perder mi trabajo justo antes de que los niños regresaran a la escuela. No tuve el dinero para comprarles sus materiales de la escuela. Y ahorita mi hijo va a cumplir años y no tengo para celebrarlo. Es bien tristoso para mi hijo. Ahora no tenemos para sobrevivir. Yo quiero que me devuelvan a mi trabajo con mi horario de full time, o que me paguen una indemnización igual a dos semanas de pago por la discriminación y el daño que me han hecho. Tambien quiero que PMM Companies cumpla totalmente con la Acta de Días de Enfermedad Pagadas y no tomar represalias contra los trabajadores que toman un día de enfermedad. No quiero un mal para la compañía - quiero nada más que me devuelvan al trabajo. No es mucho que pido, sino que necesito mi trabajo de vuelta para el bienestar de mis hijos y mi familia.
#vapoRISE with Beyond Vape workers!We the workers of Beyond Vape enjoy the culture and community we work within. We respect our customers and take the quality and proper use of the products they purchase very seriously. We work to create an environment that is comfortable, dignified and respectful for Beyond Vape Customers. Unfortunately, we do not find ourselves treated in the same manner Beyond Vape is one of the largest and most profitable vaping company chains in New York City and we, its workers, provide consistent professionalism and quality service, helping to maintain loyal customers who are committed to purchasing their product. We deserve to be compensated for our hard work and should not have to face hardships while juggling the responsibilities between our everyday lives, families, school and our jobs. On August 1st Beyond Vape workers,frustrated with the lack of clarity, dignity and respect on the job, decided to collectively deliver a petition to the owner Chris Chuang, Since the petition delivery the company has retaliated with harsh neglect and little to no change in the store conditions. With your help we can raise awareness to these issues and have them changed. We ask that as Beyond Vape customers, you sign this petition to support us in our work to get the company to treat us with dignity, respect our personal lives and compensate us fairly. We want to continue to provide quality service at Beyond Vape and your support will help us do that.
REI Employees Need a Living Wage"REI employees live in fear every week wondering if they will get 30 hours or 3 hours...It is impossible to live a stable life." Edward Peters, Sales Specialist, Greensboro, NC. "I am half a paycheck away from being homeless." -William Bass, Sales Specialist, Seattle. "We as employees need a voice." -Tia Kennedy, Admin Assistant, Seattle. "This treatment has gone on far too long, and must stop." Daniel Robinson, Outdoor Instructor, Portland, OR. At Seattle City Hall on July 11th, just under a dozen REI workers publically shared their stories of hardship while working for REI. These employees from across the country, reported erratic schedules, low pay, hunger, poverty, and homelessness. These conditions have been pervasive, despite REI having a well known reputation as an excellent company to work for. REI bosses have promised to improve conditions, but urged workers to keep quiet and only talk individually to their immediate supervisors. Why does REI want to keep improvements quiet? Workers want assurance that REI will make the changes that they so desperately need. By signing this petition, you are telling the CEO and Board that you want them to make the improvements that REI workers want, and that they need. With your help, we can make REI live up to its claims of being: a model leader in the retail industry, a democratic Cooperative not a greedy corporation, an employer that seeks "to maintain an excellent workplace for staff" with a "commitment to responsible corporate citizenship."
Starbucks, Lack of Labor is Killing MoraleThe labor situation has gone from tight to infuriating. Labor has been cut so much in corporate stores, that one call-off (an employee calling in sick) impacts the entire day, as managers are directed to cut shifts to save on labor costs. Baristas trying to work more than 25 hours a week (myself included) find that a near impossible task. You end up taking it personally, when corporate directs your stores to understaff, and under schedule. You wonder if they realize how difficult it is to pay your bills when you work 25 hours a week? Right now, the labor allowed to stores is so dire that it’s killing morale, companywide. Let it be stated that this job isn’t a hard one. It’s demanding, but it’s easy work, if trained properly. Customers want their coffee and they want it in a timely fashion. As labor continues to be cut, it creates an atmosphere where baristas are worn to the bone without being able to take a breath. Cleanliness suffers, speed of service suffers, partners suffer. Many baristas are twenty-something college students, living at home. Many more are people like myself, artists, writers, breadwinners, who depend on their income. The tip situation has also drastically changed. Before the implementation of a Starbucks Reward program (MSR), tips were higher. Now, with a growing percentage and majority of customers using the app, and their registered cards, tips are in major decline. When you factor that in with actual take home pay, it’s a scary place to be. The way Starbucks frames itself, is that it’s a company worth investing in, worth being loyal to. Because of the health care, the benefits, the 401K, the stock, on the outside, why wouldn’t you want to invest yourself, as an employee to a great company? (and it is a great company). Realistically, investing in starbucks, as an employee, is becoming more difficult. Hours are becoming more elusive as store managers hire 10-20 employees at 20-25 hours a week, sacrificing tenured employees. At Starbucks, tenure makes no difference. These days, a 7 year employee makes as much as a new hire. Experience is given no merit. Right now, the labor climate keeps most baristas regularly underemployed, enough to qualify for benefits, but not enough to afford to pay for them. The most frustrating aspect lately is the pay, and having to commute to work for a 4.5 hour shift, while spending over an hours worth of pay to get yourself there. Labor is the real bone of contention, in addition to the drinks that corporate continues to roll out, (absent the labor to support them, as in years past), baristas also continue to struggle in their stores, with more expectation, with less support staff. These days, baristas do the work for two to three people as labor isn’t just cut to save money, it’s under cut, so stores are intentionally understaffed. I love Starbucks. As an artist, and a fan of process, it’s a job that plays into that love (and to my strengths), and a genuine connection to people and customers of all ages, races, genders, and expressions. The Starbucks culture is singular. I haven’t experienced it anywhere else. What’s happening is a slow extinction of that culture. As less and less people are staffed in stores the pressure mounts. THIS is what needs to change.
Howard Schultz, Meet With Your Baristas!Our schedules constantly change, many of us struggle to get enough work hours, we can't plan our lives around our jobs, and we find it difficult if not impossible to call out sick because of the difficulty of finding coverage. These things contribute to a stressful work environment and decrease morale at our stores. We've seen great, hardworking coworkers leave the company for these reasons. We, the baristas of Starbucks, experience these things firsthand, and we are the very people within the company who should be proposing solutions. We want to talk to Howard Schultz in person, and have a conversation about how we can move forward together to make Starbucks better. Please sign on in support!
T-Mobile, let us spend the holidays with our familiesWe are T-Mobile workers from various locations in the country. All we want for Christmas is to be able to spend time with our family and loved ones. But T-Mobile is forcing representatives in some locations to work on Christmas Day. Working the holidays should be on a volunteer basis. There are plenty of workers wanting overtime Please sign and share this petition, whether you work for T-Mobile, or you just care about the morals of your cell phone provider, so that we can show T-Mobile's CEO John Legere that it is not acceptable to force it's employees to work on Christmas Day. Thank you, Amanda Fanning, Albuquerque Angela Simler, Wichita Rebecca Disbrow, Meridian
Kmart: Show your thanks for employees this holiday season!For several years in a row now, my mom -- a Kmart employee -- has missed out moments from our family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions like so many other retail workers across the country. While some retailers are reversing this trend in 2015, we’re guessing that allowing employees to celebrate Thanksgiving Day as family holiday is a thing of the past for Kmart workers and their families. Last year, thousands of Kmart employees and their supporters joined my campaign to allow employees to have Thanksgiving Day off. We heard from dozens of other Kmart employees that while the company said they would rely on employees who volunteered to work on Thanksgiving, but that was often not the case. What’s more: many employees didn’t even know when they were scheduled to work until the last minute. It’s already the beginning of November and Kmart has yet to announce their Thanksgiving day hours, and employees like my mom do not know what to expect for the upcoming holiday schedule. This makes planning for the holidays even more difficult for workers and the family and friends in their lives. While some employees have heard that the company will try to rely on volunteers, it’s unclear if that will really be the case in the end. Without knowing the store hours, it is impossible to tell. Kmart can at least make planning and enjoying the very limited time families spread across the country get to spend together easier by letting employees know right away when they will be expected to work; by relying on those employees who volunteer to work on Thanksgiving to earn extra pay; and by committing to not make last minute changes that wreak havoc on retail workers’ lives.
Bath & Body Works: Give employees more hours for floor setsWorking a floor set shift is basically like coming in and setting up a brand new store. We need to fill under-stocked items with all remaining products we have (so that we don't have to constantly run to the back and search for product); box up old merchandise which will no longer be sold on the sales floor; clean (which takes a long time since it includes picking up extra props and all the empty boxes we're taking the new products out of); take out the trash several times; mop and sweep the floor; and more. Having been at B&BW for a year now, I've worked every floor set and we don't leave until 2-3 AM if we are lucky. Managers will send several people home in the middle of the floor set because they say they "have no more hours" they are allowed to use employees for. If we run out of time and the store still isn't in a condition that is ready to open to the public the next day, some of us basically have to volunteer to stay longer to finish the job. It is stressful and counterproductive to constantly be told to hurry and move faster when we want to do our task correctly. More often than not, during the next few days -- which should be productive sales days -- we spend time fixing what wasn't finished on the night of floor set since enough employees weren't given enough hours to do it right. This takes away from customer experience. This is important to not only me, but likely my fellow co-workers and managers because we need the extra time to use on detail and making sure we are doing what is fully expected of us.
Overtime paid for all Starbucks PartnersWhen I worked extra hours at Starbucks in California, I received overtime pay because of state laws. But when I transferred to another Starbucks in North Carolina, I no longer received overtime pay even though I have been working extra hours in my new location. As overtime pay regulations often vary by state, Starbucks partners in many locations don't receive the same compensation for working long hours. A lot of us put our personal lives on hold and for different reasons when we have to stay at work longer. We love the company and love what we do, but we're not paid equally across the United States. Please join me in asking Starbucks to address this disparity by providing overtime pay to all partners across the country regardless of where we live.
Starbucks: End clopens now!My life is hectic but I manage to make it all work. I go to school at night and -- until July -- worked two part time jobs to make ends meet. One of my jobs was working as a barista for more than 2 years at a Starbucks in New Haven, CT. At Starbucks, I often worked back to back closing and then opening shifts - with 7 or 8 hours between shifts. Among Starbucks baristas this is known as a "clopening." Last year, my store didn’t have a manager so I was clopening more than 6 times a month! Lately, because of my second job, I clopened 1-2 times a month. And because of high turnover in the store, my boss started scheduling me wherever they needed me instead of taking into account my second job and school schedules. In July, I was called in to work at the last minute, even though I was needed at my other job. My manager wrote me up because I was unable to get a replacement for a time I wasn't even scheduled for. This isn’t right - my time counts. And when the store was understaffed on closing shifts, I was forced to stay even later than my scheduled shift in order to make sure the store was ready to open for the morning rush. Because I was frequently scheduled for clopening shifts, I got just 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. I was doing all I could to get ahead, but Starbucks’ scheduling practices made me question whether that was possible and I parted ways with Starbucks. Even though I no longer work there, I know I am not the only partner struggling with these issues. I want to help all my former coworkers by asking the company to give workers 11 hours of rest between shifts in all U.S. stores, across the board so we aren’t at the mercy of individual managers Many of us have different experiences at Starbucks, depending on our manager. Please join me in asking Starbucks for consistent protections across the company, starting with healthy schedules across the board.
Brooklyn Public Library: Don't Make Us Clock Out for Meal BreaksThe SumTotal timekeeping system has created many problems for Local 1482 members working at Brooklyn Public Library. One of the biggest problems we experience is the requirement to clock out for meal breaks during daytime shifts. Most importantly, this policy interferes with our ability to provide quality customer service. We are routinely forced to choose between offering immediate assistance to a patron and finding a computer so that we can clock back in on time. For the same reason, we are often compelled to take less than the full 45 minutes of meal break time we are entitled to under the terms of our working conditions contract. Also, since members are not required to clock out for meal breaks during late night shifts we often forget to do so during daytime shifts. As a result, supervisors spend too much of their time in SumTotal fixing these honest mistakes as they occur. For all these reasons, we seek an end to a confusing, inconsistent, and burdensome policy that is not compatible with the nature of our work.
Bath & Body Works Fair WorkweekIt's important because if you are struggling to earn a living, two or more jobs may be required. These call-in shifts require you to be available for their business needs, yet if they do not need you that day, you missed out on possibly having a guaranteed shift elsewhere. It makes it difficult for those who have school, need childcare, use public transportation, or just having a life outside of work in general. Please let's stop this unpredictable scheduling! It does not give us any value as employees as everything else solely revolves around business needs!
No product runs off the clock!It is very inconvenient receiving a phone call or a text message asking to pick up product before or after a shift. Before shifts, partners have plans or have a certain routine before heading to work and having to pick up product before that throws off a regular routine, and we feel obligated to retrieve it and save the day. Let alone trying to make it to work on time. As far as picking up product after work, we all just want to go home, sleep, and rest.... And preferably not waste gas and have to wait up to a year to be compensated for a trip that was made months prior.
Dick's Sporting Goods: Improve your scheduling practicesRight now, hourly "associates" are scheduled from week-to-week on an inconsistent schedule and a lot of the times the following week's schedules are published on the previous Friday. But sales managers are able to get their schedules a month in advance. Since we get our schedules with such little advance notice, it’s really difficult to plan everything we need to do in our lives outside of work. If I want to schedule a doctor appointment or any trips with the family, instead of being able to plan ahead around my work schedule, I have to request days off in advance. That means I often lose hours which means a lower paycheck that week because I didn't know ahead of time when I was going to work. In addition to not getting our schedules far enough in advance, the communication around schedules and any changes to them needs to be improved. The only way to see an up-to-date schedule is to come in to the store. If you are working part-time or if you are not working during the weekend when schedules are posted, there is no way to know your schedule unless you call. Even worse, when changes are made to the schedules posted in the store, it isn’t properly communicated to employees. People have been fired because the schedule has changed without notice so they didn’t know they were expected to work a shift. The manager who changed the schedule almost never calls and there is nothing automated (like an email) that tells anyone of any changes -- you are expected to call everyday to find out. I’ve worked in other stores that have schedules posted online or send you an email alert when your schedule has changed. Dick’s Sporting Goods already pays us way below poverty level -- since that isn't changing anytime soon, at least improve your scheduling and communication practices. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/fanofretail/
MICROSOFT: Give Memorial Day as paid leave holiday to your supplier's employeesThousands of people have worked for years for Microsoft via contractors-vendors, without having any paid time off. We think Microsoft's new policy should be fully implemented as soon as possible and Memorial Day seems a perfect and very symbolic date to start providing paid leave. Considering the present compensation rate of the 37 or so Tier1 tester/reviewers working for Microsoft and paid via Lionbridge Technologies we estimate the cost for one paid leave day is $5204. In comparison, Lionbridge CEO, Rory Cowan made last year between $1.522.275 and $2.89 million (that's including part of his stock options). Taking into account his $1.5 million compensation, one paid leave day for the 37 employees represents less than one day of Cowan's income and less than 4 hours when choosing his $2.9 million income. For the first quarter of 2015, Lionbridge posted record earnings and bought back 254.000 shares of its common stock for $1.4 million. We don't see any technical or financial obstacle to providing Memorial Day as a holiday for all contract employees and it would be a tangible sign that Microsoft takes its commitment seriously and will implement it promptly.
Walmart: Treat Military Families with DignityLisa's story: My name is Lisa Austin and I work in Apple Valley, MN at Walmart #2642. On December 28, 2014 I was disciplined for staying home to take care of my seven-month-old child while my husband was away training with the National Guard.* The training was on the weekend of December 7, 2014. Per Walmart policy, I requested the days off close to two months in advance but was still written up for the days missed. Now I am close to being terminated and am afraid I will lose my job if I have to miss work if Walmart doesn’t approve future dates that my husband is away. The store manager told me that “my absence was inexcusable and everyone has kids.” I was told that I cannot have another absence until June 14, 2015. Military families sacrifice on a daily basis when their spouse is deployed or away from their loved ones. Should a Military spouse sacrifice her child or her job for just needing a day off to care for their baby? Walmart can help associates like Lisa and show its respect for military families by amending its leave policy today. Please join us in showing your support by signing this petition for a national policy that helps all our military families who work at Walmart across the country. *Since I started working at Walmart in October 2014, I had not been working there long enough to qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.
Shorter shifts on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.Gives people more time to spend with family. Working from 12pm to 8pm is not a good way to spend most of Thanksgiving. If I could work from 9am to 2pm or even 12pm to 5pm I think your associates would be way more happier. This is coming from someone who you would call "irrelevant" but what I'm stating is how everyone feels.
HAEU Workers Need to Be Part of the Solution for Open Enrollment & Vermont Health ConnectWe are employees of the Health Access Eligibility Unit. With Open-Enrollment for Vermont Health Connect now upon us, it has become increasingly clear that there are major roadblocks in our path to effectively and empathetically serving our customers. Many of the existing problems in HAEU have been exacerbated to crisis levels, and many of our co-workers are starting to break under the relentless pressure and emotional strain. We do not feel supported by management in our work, are regularly given conflicting, incomplete, or inaccurate information, are discouraged from holistically taking care of our customers, and are denied training which is essential for us to efficiently complete the immense task before us. Some of us are even concerned about the legality of tasks we are asked to do.
T-Mobile, eliminate mandatory work on Christmas Day!I have been a T-Mobile employee for 5 years, worked in several different departments and have never been asked to work on major holidays such as Christmas. Recently, I was informed that T-Mobile is now ranked number 1 for the prestigious JD Power Awards. It seems to me that in order to keep this competitive position, T-Mobile has decided that employees like me will be forced to work major holidays, including Christmas Day. Christmas Day is a time to be spent with family and loved ones. Whether you work for T-Mobile, or you just own a cell phone and care about the morals of your cell phone provider, please sign and share this petition, to show T-Mobile's CEO John Legere that it is not acceptable to force it's employees to work on Christmas Day. With enough voices, we can make a change!
Starbucks: Give us a fair workweek!We’re Starbucks employees and we love our customers. Every single day, dedicated customers like Georgia, Chris, Jim, Herb, Colleen, Anna, Rob, Sandy, Charlie, Tim, Mike, Mark, Ashley, Lee, Andie and countless others come into our stores, order their drinks, and share a little bit of their day with us. Our customers are loyal, consistent, and predictable (about their drink orders, at least!) and we love serving them. But we need Starbucks to treat us like we treat our customers. We, employees of Starbucks, demand Starbucks give us one-month advance notice of our schedules, stable hours, and access to full-time work. We regularly have schedules that fluctuate from 15 hours to 40 hours to no hours. We often get our schedules less than a week in advance — that’s not nearly enough to plan for childcare, another job, or school… or enough to cover our bills. And few baristas actually get those health benefits Starbucks brags about because it costs too much or they don’t work enough hours to qualify. Jannette Navarro, a Starbucks barista and young mom, just told her story in the New York Times of the constant chaos of an erratic Starbucks schedule: “You’re waiting on your job to control your life,” she said, with the scheduling software used by her employer dictating everything from “how much sleep Gavin [her son] will get to what groceries I’ll be able to buy this month.” All across the country, Starbucks baristas like us sold copies of the New York Times paper that exposed what it's like to be one of the 130,000 workers making the lattes that keep America going every day. We are a few of those baristas and, like Jannette, we also struggle with the nightmarish "magic" of Starbucks' computerized schedules. After the article came out, Starbucks responded with an announcement that they will now post schedules one week in advance and stop giving baristas closing and opening shifts — we call them "clopens" — back to back. Basically just adhering to policies they already have – and this isn't enough. We are coming together with our dedicated customers — like you — and asking Starbucks for one-month advance notice of our schedules, stable hours, and access to full-time work. There's no reason why our work schedules can't be as consistent as our loyal customers who line up for their morning “Venti soy latte”. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/ivypics/
Let's Build a Better Ikea Together!We work at the IKEA store in Seattle, Washington. Together we have close to 10 years of experience. We enjoy our jobs at IKEA, and take a lot of pride in delighting our customers. However, like many part-time workers in retail, we struggle to pay our bills. Sometimes we work almost full-time, but many times we have to make ends meet on less than 25 hours per week. After co-workers spoke out about the need for higher pay, IKEA responded by raising starting pay to match the living wage for our community. Beginning January 1, the national starting pay will average $10.76/hour. We think raising starting pay is a step in the right direction, but co-workers with years of experience may receive no raise at all. We think that investing in co-workers will lead to happier employees, better retention, and higher sales growth. That’s why we’re asking Ikea to offer full-time jobs to every co-worker who wants one and raise pay for all co-workers, not just new hires. We’re calling on our coworkers and customers in the United States and around the world to join us in supporting this petition. We know that when we speak up Ikea listens. Together we’ll convince the company to do what’s right. Thank you for standing with us! Kwesi, Martina, Ruthe Ikea Seattle
Darden: We Want a Seat at the TableHaving worked at restaurants for 15 years -- including at the Olive Garden for six years -- I know the industry well. Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, can do a lot more to make its restaurants better places to work, but first they need to listen to their employees. For example, in January, the company got rid of automatic gratuity for large parties. It might not seem like much, but when a large party takes up a lot of your shift, those tips make a big difference. Managers told us it was for legal reasons, but I later learned it was because Darden wanted to save a little money on its taxes. I wish the company would've first considered the impact on its servers. We depend on those tips to pay our bills. Another issue is what I call "stuttering breaks." We are told to take a 30 minute break, then asked to wait another hour before returning to work -- all of it off the clock. This seems like a terrible way to run a business, and it takes its toll on staff. How can we make a living when we're not sure how many hours we'll work from week to week? In six years of working at Olive Garden, I've noticed that it's getting harder and harder for employees to make ends meet. I've had to move back in with my parents in order to afford to finish my college degree in software engineering. I can't imagine how my coworkers with kids -- coworkers who I care deeply about and spend much of my time with -- are able to make it. I want to see the Olive Garden, and all Darden restaurants (which also include LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's, and Yard House) become great places to work. Darden is such a large employer that if they do more to support employees like me, they can set a standard for the industry -- and they'll get to have their pick of the best employees, too. Now is the time for company leaders to meet with the staff at their restaurants. We all belong to this company and we've got a stake in its survival. At the end of July, longtime Darden CEO Clarence Otis announced that he would be stepping down. As our company faces a leadership vacuum, Wall Street hedge funds are playing a much bigger role in deciding the future of this company. They called for the ouster of Otis and have lobbied for a potential scheme to sell off Darden's assets. These outside firms must consider the concerns and challenges facing the staff at their restaurants. These restaurants are not just assets to be sold off but are how 130,000 workers feed and care for their families. Customers, shareholders, and fellow employees -- please join me in calling on Darden leadership and hedge fund stakeholders to meet with employees and hear our concerns. It's time we had a seat at the table when it comes to deciding the future of this company! Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/jeepersmedia/
Zara: Treat retail employees with respectUPDATE: Thanks to you, our efforts are starting to #ChangeZara! In December, Zara workers in NYC received a letter from the US Managing Director, Dilip Patel, saying that workers will receive raises of up to $3 an hour and access to full-time positions. This is a major victory for our campaign and demonstrates that when workers come together, we can make real changes! Our campaign is gaining great momentum, but we still need your support to help bring Dilip Patel to the table and hear our concerns. Please read our petition below and sign and share! ***** First off, let me introduce myself. I’m Jedidiah Labinjo and I work at Zara in New York City. Sharlene Santos, one of the original leaders of the campaign, recently moved out of state so I’ve been inspired to step up and help move the campaign along with my Zara coworkers -- and you! I’ve worked as a sales associate at the Zara store in SoHo for a year. I have been commended by my supervisor for my work ethic and customer service skills, but I’ve yet to see an increase in my pay of $10.50 an hour. I live with my mother and contribute to my family’s bills. I’m also in school full-time studying pre-law, which has helped me think about my rights at work. It’s hard to juggle my priorities of work, school, and family when I have a constantly changing schedule at Zara. Managers are full-time, but we sales associates have a very hard time getting more hours, even though Zara continues hiring more part-time associates. Many associates feel that there is a lot of favoritism in determining who gets the promotions that would make us full-time. Many of my coworkers are students or parents with young children. We all work hard to get by. We earn so little at Zara that many of us can’t even afford to buy the clothes that we sell. With these kinds of poverty schedules, we are forced to choose between bills, rent, and food. So my coworkers and I circulated a petition to address our issues at Zara: low wages, not enough hours, favoritism, and disrespect. When we presented our concerns to a store manager, she said there was nothing she could do. Since we first launched this petition, a delegation of Zara workers from the US traveled to Spain to take our concerns directly to the top company executives as US Management has not agreed to sit down with us collectively for substantive discussions. We’ve been told to discuss problems at work on a one-on-one basis with our managers. But these issues aren’t individual -- they are company-wide. We want Zara’s management to come to the table to hear our #ChangeZara committee’s collective concerns about scheduling, wages, and opportunities for advancement. Zara's hugely profitable parent company, Inditex, is proud of its reputation as a socially responsible business. Zara workers in Spain have a union that grants them a voice at the table -- don't we deserve the same respect here in the US? Join us in our fight to #ChangeZara.
FULL TIME HOURS THAT IS WITHIN HER WORK RESTRICTION, FOR PEOPLE GREETER ASSOCIATE SANDRA JENSENI am 54 years old. My husband is retired, and is on a fixed income. He has a disability and cannot work. Recently, August 2014 my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. I need full time hours for us to survive. I worked in the Food Demonstration Department at Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart since 2007, with a promise that they would give me full time position. Before they shut down the demo departments, the regional Manager moved me to the front end, where I worked as a People Greeter. I was told "take this job or leave the company". Their promise of more hours in the people greeter position never happened. In 2009, I got hurt pushing and pulling shopping carts. Because of that injury I could not pursue my career as a Medical Assistant (front and back office). After that injury, heavy lifting becomes a big challenge in my personal life as well as in the work place. I love my Job as a People Greeter, and try to do my best. They always give me a good Annual Evaluation.. On July 25th 2014, They offered me a fulltime position. I was excited. Then I was told it's in Fax and Pull. I could not accept it because of my physical limitations.
Walmart: Stop Cutting Our Hours!As Walmart Associates, we want to do the best job we can. We come to work every day and are proud of the job we do. We are the people helping customers, stocking shelves, moving inventory, getting carts and other items to their proper places, and making sure we run the store in the best way possible. However, as we continue to carry out this work, we are finding it difficult to keep food on the table, pay our rent, provide for our family, put gas in our cars, and make ends meet due to the lack of hours in our schedules. Today, we stand before you, asking Walmart to follow-through on its public commitment to provide Associates with MORE HOURS and MORE CLEARLY DEFINED FULL-TIME POSITIONS to be permanently added to our schedules. We believe this will help ensure that every store is running to the best of its abilities and that Associates will not be going home hungry, avoiding medical care because we are worried about the high cost, living paycheck to paycheck and choosing between rent and food. We believe more hours and full-time work is a more viable and successful strategy than continually hiring and firing temps and letting go of longtime Associates with invaluable experience. We believe these changes will benefit customers, as when hours and positions are cut, we are no longer able to carry out the necessary work in a timely, safe and efficient manner. It is the right thing to do; for the store, for the customers, for all Associates. One year ago, Walmart said it would provide Associates the opportunity to work more hours and make available more full-time positions. With $17 billion in profit per year, we believe there is no viable reason why Walmart can't follow-through with its commitment and provide these much needed changes. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.
Forever 21: We Demand Full-Time OpportunitiesForever 21 sent a devastating memo to several hundred of its full-time U.S. employees this week informing them of drastic cuts to their hours and benefits. In addition to losing hours and all of our health benefits, employees are also losing the ability to earn paid time off – and the company gave us less than two week’s notice! I just started working at Forever 21 in New York City, but now I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to work there, because I need a job that I can actually survive on. When I first applied for the job, I was promised growth and working with the visual team to become a merchandiser. They explained I would be learning and growing and starting off in sales with full time hours. However when I was hired, I suddenly found myself cleaning and organizing the stock room in a part-time position. When I asked what happened with the position I applied for I was brushed off and ignored. I didn't realize that the company treats their employees like that, and now Forever 21 is essentially ending full-time employment for non-management employees altogether. Imagine having a sick child or a chronic illness, then finding out that in less than two weeks, your health insurance will terminated, your paychecks will be smaller, and you won't have any paid time off to take care of your medical issues –All because you are part time. Unstable scheduling in the retail industry is a serious problem. Imagine trying to fit together two part-time work schedules with just days or hours’ advance notice of your shift. To make matters worse, many jobs require you to work "on call" shifts, which means you have to call two hours before your shift to see if you have to work (or you'll face disciplinary action). But if you're not called in, you don't get paid. This practice wreaks havoc in our lives and, in my opinion, amounts to exploitation. Companies claim they can't remain profitable without reducing workers' schedules, but that's a poor excuse because many of these same companies are providing full-time opportunities to workers in other parts of the world. In the Munich, Germany, Forever 21 is hiring full time entry-level sales associates. In Liverpool, England, the job I applied for in New York (a "visual merchandiser") is listed as a full-time position. Why can't these same opportunities be made available in every U.S. location? The Retail Action Project's #JustHours campaign holds companies accountable for forcing workers into unstable unpredictable part time retail jobs, because they can do better. Forever 21 has an opportunity to do the right thing -- to show its employees that it respects the work we do and the valuable contribution we make to the company each day. Every Forever 21 store should have full-time opportunities for hard-working employees. NOTE: The author of this petition has chosen to use a pseudonym to protect her identity. The Retail Action Project has verified that she works for Forever 21.
Juicy: Take Care of Your WorkersMy name is Duane, and I’m a proud father of my beautiful five-year-old daughter. I worked at Juicy Couture’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City for almost four years in the stock department. I started this petition with my coworker Darrell, because while we stock & sell Juicy Couture’s $200 jeans and sweaters, the company decided they don’t want to take care of their workers. Darrell was a successful full-time sales associate for two and half years, until the company started pushing full-time workers out. When I started, I also got 40 hours a week, but I struggled along with my coworkers as our hours were cut. Eventually, I was down to 14 hours each week. When I asked for more hours, they said they couldn’t give them to me because I didn’t have open availability – because of my daughter. When we began working at Juicy Couture, many of us were full-time. Now, only 19 of the store’s 128 employees are full-time! Not only are they firing full-time workers and replacing us with a part-time workforce, just this month Juicy capped all part-time workers hours at 21 hours per week. We quickly realized that Juicy Couture is doing everything they can to not take care of its workers. See, it was hard enough for us to make ends meet in New York City as full-time retail workers. But by keeping hours under 30 per week, Juicy Couture will no longer be required to offer their workers affordable health care – part of the Affordable Health Care Act’s plan to make sure more working Americans have basic health care. Further, we were told we’re only eligible for paid time off in case we’re sick or have other responsibilities if we work 1400 hours in one year. We did the math, and realized part-time workers reach that at 21 hours per week. This means that the vast majority of Juicy Couture’s workers will not ever get one single paid sick day. Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture by having our hours cut or being fired. Now we’re speaking out on behalf of my coworkers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours. We know from experience that Juicy has loyal customers and dedicated employees -- if enough of us speak out and demand Just Hours, they'll have no choice but to act.