D.C. Councilmembers Turn their Back on Residents, Punt Instead of Ensuring Full-time Jobs

D.C. Councilmembers Turn their Back on Residents, Punt Instead of Ensuring Full-time Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, September 20, 2016 CONTACT Elizabeth Falcon, Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice; Elizabeth@dcjwj.org or 202-674-2872 D.C. Councilmembers Turn their Back on Residents, Punt Instead of Ensuring Full-time Jobs By tabling Just Hours legislation today, the D.C. Council sends message to thousands of people that they must keep waiting for livable jobs. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Elizabeth Falcon, Executive Director of the DC Jobs With Justice, released the following statement after the D.C. Council tabled the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act at today’s Committee of the Whole meeting: “The D.C. Council should have kept Hours and Scheduling Stability Act on track to make sure our community has access to stable hours and work schedules. Workers in the District deserve access to full time hours and schedules in advance. Today the Council let down thousands of our neighbors who work in retail and food service and all of their families. By tabling this legislation, they gave into big business lobbyists instead of looking out for hard-working residents in our lowest paying industries. “We thank Councilmembers Mary Cheh, LaRuby May, Brianne Nadeau, and Elissa Silverman for standing with working people and voting to advance the bill forward today. “We’ve heard the narrative that it is too much at once to act on both Paid Family Leave and the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, when these are in fact the basics of what people need to sustain their families. “Even with more D.C. residents living in poverty than before the recession and with many residents who want to work full-time only finding part-time work, the D.C. Council decided to...
District Officials Ignored Residents and Got Duped By Walmart

District Officials Ignored Residents and Got Duped By Walmart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, January 15, 2016 CONTACT Ari Schwartz, DC Jobs With Justice, (202) 674-3228, ari@dcjwj.org For a PDF of the release, click here District Officials Ignored Residents and Got Duped By Walmart Countless residents knew better than to trust Walmart, but were ignored by elected officials eager to believe the company’s false promises WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nikki Lewis, Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice, released the following statement today after Walmart announced it will not open two stores planned for the District and will close 269 stores worldwide: “I wish I could say that I am surprised by Walmart’s plans to cancel two stores, but the sad truth is, I am not. Today’s announcement proves once again that Walmart is a company that cannot be trusted. “In meetings with residents and community leaders, the company promised to bring much-needed retail to Ward 7. Some residents were even told that wages would start at $13.50 an hour at these stores. “Unfortunately, when residents attempted to codify these promises in a written agreement, and later the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), Walmart responded by threatening to cancel their plans to open three additional stores – effectively forcing Mayor Gray to veto the LRAA. “With today’s announcement of store closures, Walmart is canceling these plans and footing the residents of D.C. with the bill. Make no mistake, Walmart has duped the District with false promises and is now earning profit at the expense of everyone who lives here. “The District should have ignored Walmart’s threats instead of its own residents. Moving forward, the District should be cautious about believing other retailers...
Just Hours at the Top of the Agenda for D.C. Council

Just Hours at the Top of the Agenda for D.C. Council

On January 13, members of the coalition for Just Hours testified at a DC city council hearing in favor of the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, spearheaded by D.C. Jobs With Justice and introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange. The proposed rules would usher in more predictable schedules and stable employment opportunities for people working in the District’s retail and restaurant chains. While a national trend of minimum wage increases continues, the demand for ending erratic work schedules to ensure more sustainable jobs is growing. According to a recent poll, a wide majority of D.C. residents say they support the measures included in the legislation. Some 86 percent of D.C. residents say they would support a law that would mandate stable hours and predictable work schedules from employers. Additionally, 87 percent of those surveyed say they would support rules that would require two weeks’ advance notice of work schedules, and 88 percent say they would support rules that would require large corporate chain stores and restaurants to first offer additional work hours to their part-time employees before hiring new employees. RasImani Diggs, an employee at a Marshall’s store in Ward 1 in the District, testified about the challenges she faces with inconvenient and ever-changing schedules: “They post a schedule a day or two before the week starts, but it can change at any time. I have to try to call in or take metro from Kenilworth on a day I don’t even work just to check my schedule and see if it’s changed.  I can’t plan anything in my life. With a second job and trying to help my family, if...
New poll finds overwhelming support for Just Hours

New poll finds overwhelming support for Just Hours

A survey of 572 D.C. voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on Oct. 28-30, 2015 found overwhelming support for giving working people more stable and predictable work schedules at retail and food service employers. The survey, sponsored by DC Jobs With Justice and DC Fiscal Policy Institute, found that 86% of surveyed voters support new rules to stablize work schedules. Support only increased when voters were asked about the specific provisions of the Just Hours policy. Eighty-seven percent supported requiring employers in chain retail and food service to post schedules two weeks’ in advance. Eighty-eight percent supported requiring employers to offer available hours to current employees before hiring new workers. You can read the poll results...
In D.C., a Call for Just Hours

In D.C., a Call for Just Hours

This week, employees of companies like Marshalls, McDonald’s and Macy’s told nearly 100 Washington, D.C. residents gathered at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church how unstable hours and so-called “just-in-time” scheduling practices take a toll on their families and their ability to make ends meet. The community hearing kicked off the launch of the DC Just Hours campaign, and gave the men and women who work in D.C.’s service industry a chance to talk about their experiences, and for them, along with representatives from community organizations and elected offices to present policy solutions for a problem ripe to be solved. Those who spoke at the hearing, hosted by the DC Jobs With Justice Workers’ Rights Board, included not only employees, but also education advocates, faith leaders and elected officials. In a report on D.C. employer scheduling practices released last month by DC Jobs With Justice along with Jobs With Justice Education Fund, DC Fiscal Policy Institute and Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, a survey of 436 respondents in the retail and restaurant/food service industries found that D.C. employees are granted too few hours on too short notice, challenging their ability to lead a good life. At the hearing, testimony given from people who work for fast food and retail companies confirmed the report’s findings. RasImani Diggs, a clerk at Marshalls described her experience asking her supervisor for additional hours: “We ask for more hours, but it’s always the same song. They say, ‘We don’t have enough,’ but then hire 15 more people.” “Just-in-time” scheduling practices, where employees are asked to come and go depending on how...
Finding My Voice: Yanely Perez on a Summer with DC Jobs with Justice

Finding My Voice: Yanely Perez on a Summer with DC Jobs with Justice

Reposted from Georgetown Kalmanovitz Initiative Blog My time with the Kalmanovitz Initiative Summer Organizing internship not only let me grow as a person but also use that growth to make deeper connections with DC workers and organizers. I am humbled to have worked with so many passionate people that really care about other people and their struggle. I was placed with DC Jobs with Justice, “a dynamic coalition of labor organizations, community groups, faith-based organizations, and student groups dedicated to protecting the rights of working people and supporting community struggles to build a more just society.” At least that’s how I have learned to describe it to other people, but to me, DC JWJ became a wake up call. I worked on DC JWJ’s anti-wage theft campaign. DC previously passed legislation to increase the minimum wage and extend paid sick days, which were huge victories for DC workers. During my time at DC JWJ, the DC City Council also passed the strongest anti-wage theft law in the country. I sat in the Wilson building for six hours just to hear them pass the bill. Though I have never been so incredibly bored in my entire life, it was a moment of clarity and it is something that I have recently reflected on. I was there to support these workers whom I had started building a relationship with, but I see now that my presence was small. The workers and the organizers had devoted so much of their time, and they had built a unique relationship in solidarity with each other. They had spent hours upon hours not just sitting...