Double Pay on the Holiday Bill Passes Senate Labor Committee

AB 67 Would Guarantee Double Pay for Employees Working at Large Retailers on Thanksgiving Holiday

This week one of our UFCW sponsored Bills – The Double Pay on the Holiday Act authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which would require large retail employers to pay at least 2 times the regular rate of pay to any employee who sacrifices time with their families and friends in order to work on Thanksgiving, was approved by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee today on a 3-1 vote. The bill will next be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 67 would require retail and grocery stores with 500 or more employees to pay their workers twice their regular wage for hours worked on Thanksgiving if those stores choose to open.

“This bill is specifically tailored to help lower-paid hourly workers who often are least able to decline a shift on Thanksgiving, because family holidays shouldn’t depend on your economic situation,” Gonzalez said.

In recent years, “Black Friday” shopping deals have increasingly spilled into the Thanksgiving holiday, forcing workers to miss out on celebrating the holiday and spending time with their families in order to keep their jobs. In some cases, this work has become mandatory, forcing workers to give up their holiday or risk losing their jobs. The increasing commercialization of the holiday season has created significant public backlash, including petitions, media criticism and worker protests. AB 67 would ensure that those workers who sacrifice their Thanksgiving holiday receive double pay for their work.

While there are laws to compensate for the overtime, there is nothing protecting workers on holiday shifts. Current California law allows employers to mandate working scheduled overtime and holidays, which leaves workers without much recourse if a manager decides to take their Thanksgiving.

2014 research found that more than three-fifths of the country’s large employers have Thanksgiving shifts, while just one-in-five small businesses will do the same. Recent data also show that opening earlier on Thanksgiving Day didn’t actually boost overall sales. Instead, sales on Thanksgiving Day just came out of Black Friday sales, suggesting that taking away employees’ holiday didn’t actually help the overall bottom line.

UFCW Members Get Out The Vote (GOTV)

Every day, nearly 12,000 Americans turn 18. Millennials are over 80 million strong and growing, and they’re the largest and most diverse generation in our country’s history. In California, voter registrations among those 24 and younger are up 87% and those 25-30 are up 133%.  For the Presidential Primary Elections, UFCW coordinated voter registration efforts through member outreach, conducted phone banks and hit the streets precinct walking.

UFCW members phone banked and walked for the candidates that will fight to rebuild the middle class and reduce inequality. We need elected officials who are committed to this fight. Public funds should be attached to good job creation, corporations should pay their fair share, and employers should be held accountable when they violate workers’ rights.

It is up to us and union members across the state to ensure that the right people get elected in California so we can build on the wins like minimum wage, paid-sick days, paid family leave and other victories.

Together, we can ensure that our voices are heard and that on Election Day, we shape our country’s history.

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California Presidential Primary Recap

Corporations in California tried to buy the election on June 7th. Big Oil partnered with the California Realtors Association and Charter Schools interests (who are funded by a few wealthy people including members of the Walton family) to spend $30 million in this month’s election.

These corporations want to make California’s political system like the rest of the country’s because they don’t want working families like yours to win. Working people are winning in California’s legislature. In the past year, because of union members’ efforts, California workers will have the highest minimum wage at $15/hr by 2021, workers won a guaranteed 3 paid sick days and have the longest paid family leave in the country. Corporations like Chevron don’t like this and want to turn California into another Wisconsin.

Luckily, working people in California belong to unions and you and other members in UFCW and other unions registered people to VOTE, gave money to your local’s ABC and voted, because you know voting matters. Despite being outspent 4 to 1, 95% of UFCW’s endorsed candidates moved onto the general election in November.

Read below about some of the programs UFCW locals and UFCW States Council are running to continue to win in California.

 

 

Hillary Clinton Meets with Retail Workers at UFCW Conference

Last week at the UFCW Legislative and Political Conference, Secretary Hillary Clinton met with workers from across the retail industry to discuss the issues impacting them, their families, and coworkers. During the meeting, the workers talked about their day-to-day challenges, including workplace intimidation, scheduling and unpredictable hours. The emotional visit with Clinton included workers from Albertsons, Macy’s, El Super and Stater Bros.

The meeting with Flora Castaneda and Yolanda Pivaral, both El Super workers, was especially powerful as they highlighted the company’s ongoing intimidation and failure to recognize their right to negotiate a better life and a contract providing better wages and benefits. They have both worked to organize their stores and join the UFCW.

“I wanted Secretary Clinton to know how important joining a union was for me and my family. It’s the opportunity for a better life,” said Castaneda. “I wanted her to know that companies like El Super need to do what is right and recognize our right to higher wages and benefits.”

“I’m a working mom and I’m going to school,” said Pivaral. “Without a predictable work schedule, it’s tough to coordinate child care and manage my classes. Secretary Clinton gets it. Workers in my store want a union contract so we can have the chance to shape our schedules. To have more control over my life would help me do my job better, manage my class work, and build a good life for my son.”

Sherry Hamilton, who works as a union representative at Macy’s, pointed out that while the UFCW provides people with higher wages and protection, the non-union retail industry is still defined by unpredictable scheduling that makes it impossible to go to school, spend time with family, or have control over one’s life.

“Buying a wedding dress or a child’s first pair of shoes, these are big events and we work hard to make them special memories for customers,” said Hamilton. “I don’t think people realize how much havoc bad scheduling can have upon a worker’s life. By making work schedules in the retail industry more stable and reliable, we would be able to enjoy precious moments in our personal lives as well.”

“Our members endorsed Hillary because she is the only candidate who truly cares about the issues that matter to them,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Regardless of what job a person does, Secretary Clinton is committed to making sure that people who work hard get the brighter future they have earned and deserve. It speaks to Hillary’s character and her compassion that she doesn’t talk at our members, she listens to them.”