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Retail Justice Alliance Highlights Struggles of Part-Time Workers in California

family and medical leave, or pension plans,” said Congresswoman Chu. “That’s why the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act, which would extend benefits to part-time workers, is so critical. In today’s economy, we need to make sure that all hard-working Americans can afford to put food on the table and have a safety net to protect them and their families.” Both Lee and Chu have signed on as cosponsors of H.R. 675. In addition to Members of Congress, state and local leaders, economic experts and part-time workers also spoke at the hearings which took place at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland and East Los Angeles College. For more information about RJA, visit http://retailjusticealliance.org/. OP

Pam Davis (center), a Walmart worker in the Bay area, talks about her struggle working part-time at the Retail Justice Alliance hearing in Oakland.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee addresses the crowd at the Retail Justice Alliance hearing in Oakland.

The Retail Justice Alliance (RJA), in partnership with other stakeholders including UFCW Locals 5, 770 and 1428, hosted hearings last week in Oakland and Los Angeles with two members of Congress—Barbara Lee and Judy Chu—to highlight the social and economic plight of part-time workers in retail and other service industries. The hearings underscored the need for the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act of 2013 (H.R. 675), which would ensure that part-time workers (defined as working less than 30 hours a week) and their families have access to critical workplace benefits. The Affordable Care Act penalizes employers who fail to provide health insurance to full-time workers, but includes no such penalties for employers who deny health coverage to part-time workers. The Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights would penalize employers for failing to provide health care to part-timers and thereby end the incentive for dropping workers from their coverage. “Part-time workers across our nation need to come together and make their voices heard,” said Congresswoman Lee. “We cannot afford to go down a path where millions of Americans don’t have access to critical health care, retirement, and other benefits.” “Millions of Americans are only able to find part-time jobs, and too many of these jobs do not provide health insurance,

May 7, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 9

Congresswoman Judy Chu poses with members of UFCW Local 1428 in Los Angeles.

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“For years, Target has broken the law to suppress its employees’ fundamental right of association. Those days of illegal worker intimidation and suppression are over. The right to stick together at work is a basic American value.

Inspired by Civil Rights Leaders, OUR Walmart Plans to Protest Retailer’s Shareholder Meeting On May 1, OUR Walmart leaders from across the country descended on Birmingham, Ala., for a six day extensive training where they learned about grassroots activism and how to work with the media. OUR Walmart members also had the opportunity to meet and learn from Harvard University professor and former Freedom Rider Dr. Marshall Ganz about how to tell their public narrative. On the final day of the training, the leaders announced their plans to take their concerns directly to company executives and shareholders at Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting on June 7 in Bentonville, Ark. Citing Walmart’s $16 billion in annual profits, associates will call on the company to publicly commit to raising wages and increasing access to full-time hours so that no Walmart associate makes less than $25,000 per year. OP

Target Violated Federal Labor Law, Workers’ Rights According to NLRB Decision On April 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned the results of a union election based on Target’s worker rights violations at their store in Valley Stream, N.Y. during the campaign last year. Additionally, the NLRB found that the company systematically violated the rights of workers nationwide by maintaining illegal work rules designed to keep workers from speaking out for change at work.

“In this case, despite Target’s legal maneuverings to avoid responsibility, the retailer has been held accountable for suppressing the rights of the Long Island workers and for the company’s nationwide policy to silence all their workers. “This is not just an isolated instance and Target is not an isolated employer. Too often, major employers get away with systematically silencing millions of American workers from speaking out about their jobs. To stand against freedom of speech like Target did is not just wrong, it’s un-American.” OP

UFCW Blasts Walmart’s Veterans Pledge On May 3, the UFCW released the following statement in response to Walmart’s recent White House event recognizing its pledge to hire 100,000 returning veterans: “America’s armed service men and women deserve every opportunity for employment in the private sector. But their sacrifice deserves far more than just a part-time, low-wage position at Walmart. We are disappointed that President Obama and Vice-President Biden stand with an employer like Walmart and endorse a program that will not give our veterans the future they deserve. “The country’s economic crisis is made worse by increasing the number of low paying, part-time jobs. We need to grow more quality, middle class, full-time jobs. Most Walmart jobs do not offer more than part-time hours with little or no opportunity to earn health care or retirement benefits. Walmart said that it cannot guarantee that the jobs it offers to veterans will be full-time. That’s simply not good enough. “Like salt in the wounds, Walmart will earn up to $9,600 in Work Opportunity Tax Credits for every veteran hired in this program. So who’s the winner? It is certainly not veterans.” OP

The UFCW released the following statement about the decision:

May 7, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 9

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UFCW Locals Rally for Immigration Reform on May Day UFCW Locals 5, 99 and 770 were among the many locals that participated in May Day rallies to highlight the need for comprehensive immigration reform. OP

May 7, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 9

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OnPoint Vol. 18, Issue 9