Philadelphia Citizen: Fixing the Shift

A grass roots group fighting for a fairer work week arrives in Philly today. Will it make getting ahead easier for those who need it?

Originally posted: FEB. 13, 2018 BY JANE M. VON BERGEN

atori Price earns just $12 an hour at her job at a Center City Target—and she needs every bit of it. Just 19, Price is the only person with a job in her seven-person household. She supports her disabled mother, her younger siblings and her newborn niece.

But Price—like many low-wage workers—struggles with more than just her low wage. She also must contend with the volatility of her schedule. From week to week, she often doesn’t know when she is going to work, how many hours she’ll get, or even if shifts will be canceled at the last minute. Or, she’ll get last minute calls to come in on her days off to work some desperately-needed hours—but can’t.

“I didn’t have the car fare,” Price said on Thursday. “I’m completely broke until tomorrow. The only reason I can go into work today is because the El is free with the Eagles.”

Hard on the heels of the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign, a group that has won legislation or regulation changes involving work schedules in three states and seven cities is launching a drive in Philadelphia. The Fair Workweek Initiative will kick off its campaign in Philadelphia on Tuesday, with a rally at 12th and Chestnut streets, followed by a march to City Hall, where organizers will demand that City Council pass legislation requiring fair and consistent schedules for hourly workers.

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