I was born and raised in the East Bay and have worked at the Starbucks Cafe in Barnes and Noble on and off for nearly 10 years now. As a mother of two, I am barely able to make ends meet because of my unpredictable schedule with low hours—sometimes just 15 hours instead of the 25 I usually have. While I dream of someday living in my own home, I have to live with my sister. Having a Fair Work Week in Emeryville would allow me to get more hours to provide for my family, budget my time and plan my life. 

I was born and raised in the East Bay and have worked at the Starbucks Cafe in Barnes and Noble on and off for nearly 10 years now. As a mother of two, I am barely able to make ends meet because of my unpredictable schedule with low hours—sometimes just 15 hours instead of the 25 I usually have. While I dream of someday living in my own home, I have to live with my sister. Having a Fair Work Week in Emeryville would allow me to get more hours to provide for my family, budget my time and plan my life. 

ALEXIS

STARBUCKS, EMERYVILLE, CA 

 
“When I get to work only to be sent home again, I lose money because I have to pay for my bus fare and hours of time traveling without any pay for the day. As a grandmother, it’s really tough to juggle all of the demands on my time.”  

“When I get to work only to be sent home again, I lose money because I have to pay for my bus fare and hours of time traveling without any pay for the day. As a grandmother, it’s really tough to juggle all of the demands on my time.”  

Mary Coleman, Popeye’s worker, Milwaukee, WI

Wisconsin Jobs Now member

 
“I enjoyed my job as a customer service operator at Target in Pico Rivera, California, but every week was a gamble. Some weeks I worked 13 hours, others I worked 25 hours. I wanted to work at least 40 hours, but a full-time job with stable hours at Target just doesn’t happen – at least not to the co-workers I knew at my former store. I took the hours I could get – working sometimes as few as three-hour shifts or working a ‘clopen’ shift, which meant I worked a late shift followed by a morning shift the next day. On those days, I got home around midnight, prepared lunches and clothes for my kids, and went to sleep at 1:30 a.m. – only to wake up at 6:45 a.m. to get the kids ready for school. I dropped them off at school before it even opened so I could be at work by 8 a.m. I worked my shift dead tired, barely able to keep my eyes open.”

“I enjoyed my job as a customer service operator at Target in Pico Rivera, California, but every week was a gamble. Some weeks I worked 13 hours, others I worked 25 hours. I wanted to work at least 40 hours, but a full-time job with stable hours at Target just doesn’t happen – at least not to the co-workers I knew at my former store.

I took the hours I could get – working sometimes as few as three-hour shifts or working a ‘clopen’ shift, which meant I worked a late shift followed by a morning shift the next day. On those days, I got home around midnight, prepared lunches and clothes for my kids, and went to sleep at 1:30 a.m. – only to wake up at 6:45 a.m. to get the kids ready for school. I dropped them off at school before it even opened so I could be at work by 8 a.m. I worked my shift dead tired, barely able to keep my eyes open.”

Andrea Ruiz, Target worker, Pico Rivera, CA

ACCE member

I have worked at DB Shoes in the Powell Street Plaza in Emeryville for the last 2 years. When I was initially hired on, I was told I would have a full-time job and therefore I planned my life around it. I bought a car so that I could help care for my younger brother and give him rides to and from school. But I never get full-time hours and lately my schedule has been incredibly unpredictable.

I have worked at DB Shoes in the Powell Street Plaza in Emeryville for the last 2 years. When I was initially hired on, I was told I would have a full-time job and therefore I planned my life around it. I bought a car so that I could help care for my younger brother and give him rides to and from school. But I never get full-time hours and lately my schedule has been incredibly unpredictable.

CINTHIA

DB SHOES, EMERYVILLE

 
"So, the problem with clopenings is that you get a very small amount of time from one shift to the next to sleep, eat, do any chores, any classwork you have. Frequently, enough someone will close on Sunday night at the end of our workweek and then open Monday morning. The computer system that is not supposed to let that happen, doesn't understand that the week rolls over. I definitely have co-workers and shift supervisors even that end up getting out of work at 9:30 and getting back to work at 4 AM. It's impossible to function that way.”

"So, the problem with clopenings is that you get a very small amount of time from one shift to the next to sleep, eat, do any chores, any classwork you have. Frequently, enough someone will close on Sunday night at the end of our workweek and then open Monday morning. The computer system that is not supposed to let that happen, doesn't understand that the week rolls over. I definitely have co-workers and shift supervisors even that end up getting out of work at 9:30 and getting back to work at 4 AM. It's impossible to function that way.”

Ilana Greenberg, Starbucks, Seattle, WA

Working Washington

 
“Earlier this year, I worked four days in a row with only my shift supervisor in the back to support me. A co-worker called in sick each day, so I was alone serving the entire store. My store has a drive-through, two registers in the front and a coffee bar–and I was the only one tending all of them. The work was so grueling that I eventually developed a muscle spasm in my back and was forced to stop working for three months in order to recover from my injury. When I took my struggles to Starbucks, the company listened and showed me that it cared about my problems. I was offered the opportunity to transfer to a store closer to my home so that I could have a shorter commute, and I now know how to indicate my preferred availability for shifts, so that I have a better chance of planning my life outside of work. I’m grateful for the improvements in my schedule, but I strongly believe that all of us deserve hours we can count on.”

“Earlier this year, I worked four days in a row with only my shift supervisor in the back to support me. A co-worker called in sick each day, so I was alone serving the entire store. My store has a drive-through, two registers in the front and a coffee bar–and I was the only one tending all of them.

The work was so grueling that I eventually developed a muscle spasm in my back and was forced to stop working for three months in order to recover from my injury.

When I took my struggles to Starbucks, the company listened and showed me that it cared about my problems. I was offered the opportunity to transfer to a store closer to my home so that I could have a shorter commute, and I now know how to indicate my preferred availability for shifts, so that I have a better chance of planning my life outside of work.

I’m grateful for the improvements in my schedule, but I strongly believe that all of us deserve hours we can count on.”

Caitlin O’Reilly-Green, Starbucks worker, Atlanta, GA

Rise Up Georgia member

I work the morning shift Sunday through Thursday. I have a wife and two little kids. I also go to school. I’m lucky to have a stable schedule, but T-Mobile’s scheduling has made it hard for me to go to school so I can better support and be a model for my children. When I first got my schedule, I realized it wouldn’t allow me to go to school, because the two universities here in Albuquerque all have classes on Monday and Wednesday. But I thought maybe at the next opportunity to bid for a schedule, I will get a better shift. Six or seven bid opportunities have gone by since, and they have yet to give me a schedule that works with school. I realized that there is not a single shift in our call center that would enable workers to attend any classes.

I work the morning shift Sunday through Thursday. I have a wife and two little kids. I also go to school. I’m lucky to have a stable schedule, but T-Mobile’s scheduling has made it hard for me to go to school so I can better support and be a model for my children. When I first got my schedule, I realized it wouldn’t allow me to go to school, because the two universities here in Albuquerque all have classes on Monday and Wednesday. But I thought maybe at the next opportunity to bid for a schedule, I will get a better shift. Six or seven bid opportunities have gone by since, and they have yet to give me a schedule that works with school. I realized that there is not a single shift in our call center that would enable workers to attend any classes.

Louis

T-Mobile, Albuquerque, NM

 
"I was 16 years old and waking up at 4:30am to take my 4 year old niece to preschool. I would get myself ready for school and then get Kalia ready for the day, we’d hop on the bus to get her preschool by 7am. I would then rush back to the bus stop to get to my high school by 8am. My mom who takes care of Kalia was a Shift Supervisor at Starbucks and had clopening shifts nearly every week. I wanted to participate in school clubs, but I couldn’t because I needed to be there in case my mom’s schedule changed. We got just 4 or 5 days notice. As soon as she left Starbucks I starred in school musical and got involved in the newspaper. Now I’m 19, graduated from high school and working at Starbucks. I got a recent phone call at 4am and make me think about my mom’s clopening days at the company.  I got a phone call at 4 am, just as I was falling asleep. Working closing shifts at Starbucks had shifted my life into the night and 3 am had become my usual bedtime. The call was from my coworker, who had never called me before. As soon as she said my name, I knew why she was calling. She asked if I could cover her 4:30 am -10:30 am shift that morning, She told me that she’d tried every number she could and that she was having difficulty speaking let alone walking and working for six hours. She said she didn't know who else to call or what else she could do. She asked if I could cover even part of her shift.   I said yes. I worked her six hour shift that morning, and then came back an hour later to work my eight hour shift that afternoon. I worked her shift because if I hadn't, no one would have, or worse, she would have tried."

"I was 16 years old and waking up at 4:30am to take my 4 year old niece to preschool. I would get myself ready for school and then get Kalia ready for the day, we’d hop on the bus to get her preschool by 7am. I would then rush back to the bus stop to get to my high school by 8am. My mom who takes care of Kalia was a Shift Supervisor at Starbucks and had clopening shifts nearly every week. I wanted to participate in school clubs, but I couldn’t because I needed to be there in case my mom’s schedule changed. We got just 4 or 5 days notice. As soon as she left Starbucks I starred in school musical and got involved in the newspaper.

Now I’m 19, graduated from high school and working at Starbucks. I got a recent phone call at 4am and make me think about my mom’s clopening days at the company.  I got a phone call at 4 am, just as I was falling asleep. Working closing shifts at Starbucks had shifted my life into the night and 3 am had become my usual bedtime. The call was from my coworker, who had never called me before. As soon as she said my name, I knew why she was calling. She asked if I could cover her 4:30 am -10:30 am shift that morning, She told me that she’d tried every number she could and that she was having difficulty speaking let alone walking and working for six hours. She said she didn't know who else to call or what else she could do. She asked if I could cover even part of her shift.

 

I said yes. I worked her six hour shift that morning, and then came back an hour later to work my eight hour shift that afternoon. I worked her shift because if I hadn't, no one would have, or worse, she would have tried."

Darrion Sjoquist, Starbucks, Seattle, WA

Working Washington member

 
"I have been working at the Marshalls in Emeryville’s Powell Street Plaza for the past 3 and half years. I work hard at my job and do my best as an employee. I need to work around 20 hours a week to help pay my college tuition as well as help pay rent and support my family. But recently my hours have become fewer and less predictable. In the last scheduling period I wasn’t scheduled for a single shift. With uneven income and rents increasing so drastically in the East Bay, my family was forced to leave the Fruitvale neighborhood where we have lived our entire lives - despite the fact that all 5 of my parents and siblings work. I budget my finances tightly, but without the hours over the past several months I’ve accrued thousands in credit card debt in order to make ends meet. And it’s not just me, I know many retail workers with similar experiences. Having a Fair Work Week in Emeryville would allow me to get the hours that I need in order to pay for college, support my family and have the freedom to live a healthy life where I can plan and control my own time."

"I have been working at the Marshalls in Emeryville’s Powell Street Plaza for the past 3 and half years. I work hard at my job and do my best as an employee. I need to work around 20 hours a week to help pay my college tuition as well as help pay rent and support my family. But recently my hours have become fewer and less predictable. In the last scheduling period I wasn’t scheduled for a single shift. With uneven income and rents increasing so drastically in the East Bay, my family was forced to leave the Fruitvale neighborhood where we have lived our entire lives - despite the fact that all 5 of my parents and siblings work. I budget my finances tightly, but without the hours over the past several months I’ve accrued thousands in credit card debt in order to make ends meet. And it’s not just me, I know many retail workers with similar experiences. Having a Fair Work Week in Emeryville would allow me to get the hours that I need in order to pay for college, support my family and have the freedom to live a healthy life where I can plan and control my own time."

Manuel Carmona, Marshall’s, Emeryville, CA

ACCE member