To: Carla Macias, Associate Director, Human Resources at Forever 21
Forever 21: We Demand Full-Time Opportunities
We're calling on Forever 21 to stop these changes & restore full-time retail associates' hours.
Why is this important?
Forever 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.