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posted by LaminatorX on Friday November 28 2014, @03:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the power-concedes-nothing-without-a-demand dept.

The Center for American Progress reports:

On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, the country's first-ever legislation aimed at improving life for retail employees.

The new rules will require retail chains that have 11 or more locations across the country and employ 20 or more people in San Francisco to provide advance notice of schedules, improve the treatment of part-time employees, and give current workers the opportunity to take on more hours before hiring new people. Employers will have to give their workers at least two weeks' advance notice of their schedules, and if they fail to do so they will have to give those workers additional "predictability pay." Workers also get paid if they're required to be on call but their shifts are canceled. Employers will have to give part-time employees the same starting wage as those working full time in the same position and access to the same benefits.

The bill's passage comes at a time when erratic schedules are increasingly wrecking havoc on people's lives, particularly in retail. Nearly half of part-time workers and just under 40 percent of full-time ones only find out their schedules a week or less in advance.(NYT paywall) In a survey of more than 200 retail employees in New York City, nearly 40 percent said they don't get a set minimum of hours they'll work each week and a quarter are required to be on call for shifts, often finding out just hours ahead of time that they'll have to go to work. Many say schedules are posted on Saturdays for workweeks that start on Sunday.

Workers also show up just to be told to go home thanks to computer software that uses algorithms to determine if there are too many employees compared to sales volume. McDonald's employees have sued the company over its use of exactly this technology.

At the same time, workers often struggle to get enough hours to survive. [...] getting more hours or full-time status is treated like a reward and docking hours is used as a punishment.

[...]Bills similar to its Retail Workers Bill of Rights are being pushed in Milwaukee, New York, and Santa Clara, California. Federal lawmakers have taken notice as well. In July, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Schedules that Work Act(PDF).

 
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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 28 2014, @03:33PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 28 2014, @03:33PM (#120856) Journal

    This kind of crazy commie bullshit will be the death of retail in the US. How are companies like Walmart supposed to survive if they can't drive employee wages down into the ground? Don't people realise that there are about a hundred billion Chinese just across the water who will work for almost nothing? Do they want US customers going to China for their groceries? My great great granddaddy came here in 1824 with nothing but the shirt on his back and he used to get up for work every and... you know what? Fuck this. I was going for Poe's law, but it's Friday and I just don't have enough bile in me. Let's have some Python instead... up for work every day and lick road clean wit' tongue, eat a handful of hot gravel and pay mill owner for privilege of coming to work.... Yay SF. Sometimes sanity comes from the crazy places.

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  • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Friday November 28 2014, @03:46PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Friday November 28 2014, @03:46PM (#120860) Journal

    How are companies like Walmart supposed to survive if they can't drive employee wages down into the ground?

    I know you're being facetious but Henry Ford would have recognized this situation. You're either in the luxury market or the commodity market. If your employees cannot afford your products then you're in the luxury market. So, if a retailer drives down wages until its employees cannot afford its products then it is unrealistic for the retailer to maintain broad appeal.

    --
    1702845791×2
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by jmorris on Friday November 28 2014, @04:24PM

      by jmorris (4844) on Friday November 28 2014, @04:24PM (#120872)

      You are unwittingly repeating a popular myth. Ford started out paying the prevailing wage but it turns out that people do not want to be factory machinery on an automated assembly line. They quit as fast as they could be hired until Ford raised the wage high enough people would put up with it. Give credit for the positive PR spin he put on it but he had no choice.

      Which is too bad because the actual lesson to take from the story is educational. In a free economy people do not have to work a hellish job and they didn't need the hippy SanFran government, The Mouth of Soros (CAP) or even a union to get a fair wage. Fix the Obama depression and wages and labor conditions will improve by virtue of the invisible hand again.

      All this BS is going to do is drive brick and morter retailing into the history books. Then when those people are unemployed, people who have never worked an honest day in their lives will be all over TV telling us how much compassion they have and how we have to 'do something' for the plight of those poor people. But they don't want a handout, they want jobs. The ones willing to abase themselves enough to suckle the government teat are already doing that.

      • (Score: 2) by emg on Friday November 28 2014, @06:24PM

        by emg (3464) on Friday November 28 2014, @06:24PM (#120913)

        Indeed. When are they going to pass the Buggy Whip Makers' Bill Of Rights?

        The end result here will be less people employed in stores, and more people whining about higher prices and how they're going to buy from Amazon in future.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28 2014, @09:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28 2014, @09:48PM (#120963)

          You seem to have missed the online pet supply companies of the tech bubble who came to realize that people won't buy a 20 pound bag of cat litter from you if it comes with a FedEx bill.

          There are still things for which brick and mortar shops are the way to go.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 2) by emg on Friday November 28 2014, @10:24PM

            by emg (3464) on Friday November 28 2014, @10:24PM (#120969)

            You seem to have missed that Amazon sell 18 pound bags of cat litter with free shipping (first one that came up on a search of amazon.com for 'cat litter').

            • (Score: 1) by jmorris on Friday November 28 2014, @11:08PM

              by jmorris (4844) on Friday November 28 2014, @11:08PM (#120981)

              Well he was talking about the tech bubble.. and Amazon has yet to generate much of a profit and unhealthy losses more often than not. But for now it is ok because they are untouchable by Wall Street since everybody just buys on the dips. But retail is an easy business to dominate if you don't need to worry about margins and can just make up the losses with volume and magical thinking.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29 2014, @02:21AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29 2014, @02:21AM (#121001)

              The sell it with 'free' shipping.

              example

              http://www.amazon.com/LITTER-261365-Multiple-Strength-34-Pound/dp/B00D9DUPOG [amazon.com]

              I can get that *exact* same box at the local k-mart for 13 bucks, 12 bucks at the local pet smart instead of 24 from amazon. If I dont buy the premium junk its ~3 bucks for 20 pounds.

              They are putting the 'free' shipping into the total cost. Dont be fooled by 'free' shipping. Look to the total cost. Only the very lightweight items get real free shipping.

              I love me some amazon but their prices are not always the best. They fail at most grocery store type items. Many times they are wildly more expensive. As they do not really stock much of it. Most of it is shipped from 3rd party.

              Much like you can not beat the loading up a trunkload of LTO tapes for moving volumes of data. You can not beat the price of an LTL truck moving 70k pounds in freight. Think 100-200 bucks for 2.5 tons. If you can arrange a dead head run even less. For the dedicated hauler it is even lower as they own the truck and trailer.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 29 2014, @03:38AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 29 2014, @03:38AM (#121020) Journal

              The first that came up for me was Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter, 18 pound bag and the shipping was about 5 bucks EVEN with Prime.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28 2014, @10:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28 2014, @10:23PM (#120968)

        Having a work schedule a couple weeks in advance instead of the day before is too much of a burden?
        How about having employees being "on call"? WTF, they aren't doctors.
        What will these stores do if they can't avoid providing benefits to full-time workers by hiring multiple part-time workers?

        Of course all these workers are lazy, dishonest people that shockingly would like some stability in their worthless lives.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29 2014, @06:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29 2014, @06:17AM (#121042)

          Having a work schedule a couple weeks in advance instead of the day before is too much of a burden?
          not really

          How about having employees being "on call"? WTF, they aren't doctors.
          Yeah that is a new one on me. I had no idea. It sounds like they have more employees than need.

          What will these stores do if they can't avoid providing benefits to full-time workers by hiring multiple part-time workers?
          The stores are optimizing to the new environment they are in (more seekers of employment than jobs, and healthcare benefits they do not want to pay). Most stores are in it for profit of the owners. Not the profit of the employees. It is a rare employer that sees otherwise.

          Of course all these workers are lazy, dishonest people that shockingly would like some stability in their worthless lives.
          Hardly, you are being hyperbolic and know it. We are not worth what we think we are. The average person on this planet makes about 2.50 a day. We are the 1% compared to them.

          There is only one thing that is proven to remove unemployment. That is jobs. You create jobs by creating guidelines that make sense. This measure seems reasonable. But is in fact another barrier to entry for anyone looking to grow their business. 11 seems oddly specific too. So it was law was probably written to avoid hurting some specific favored employer. The more barriers you create to creating jobs means less jobs. The more favoritism shown (either by creating artificial scarcity or monopolies) will erase jobs. That area did not create a huge housing problem by building houses. It did it by limiting building and creating favorites with existing owners. Then locking in rents. That area has a huge history of bungling laws. If you create scarcity of jobs but not employees you end up with unemployment. It becomes a buyers market.

          For example a friend of mine moved out there. He had a 'useless degree'. So he ended up working retail. Obviously you can not live on a part time retail salary in the bay area. He moved back to this area. EXACT same job, same company, same wage even. He is getting by now and has even picked up some work here and there in his 'useless degree'. He is not alone in the number of people I see go out and quickly leave once they realize they can have a mansion for what they are paying for a crap condo.