Fair Workweek LA is a coalition of worker rights advocates, clergy, community groups, health and safety groups, and retail and grocery workers across Los Angeles calling for a fair scheduling policy and higher workplace standards and protections. Together, the coalition strives to make jobs in the retail and grocery industry sustainable and restore dignity and respect in the workplace.
The retail industry is the second largest employer in Los Angeles, with over 140,000 retail workers in the city. Workers in the retail and grocery sectors are also largely women and workers of color. The pandemic rattled these industries as workers in these sectors became frontline essential workers responsible for connecting our communities with the foods and resources needed during uncertain times. Many workers were forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. Fair Workweek LA continues to meet the challenges of the pandemic and road to recovery by organizing to ensure workers can access paid sick leave, hazard pay, and the right to oversee how health and safety standards are met in their workplaces.
As we look toward a recovery, Los Angeles needs to fight for a comprehensive Fair Workweek policy to make retail work more just for these thousands of workers. We must expand on what other cities have done and create a model for other cities to follow.
We cannot return to the challenges retail and grocery workers faced prior to the pandemic, including low wages, understaffed stores, last-minute scheduling changes, no time off for emergencies or special events, and unpredictable schedules from week to week that means they can’t plan ahead for family, school, and additional work commitments.
Unstable work hours uphold a system of income inequality that keeps communities in poverty. The instability also leads to poor health with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, irregular meal times, and missed medical appointments as just a few ways unfair workweeks can hurt workers.
Unfair scheduling is impacting a huge number of working families and Los Angeles needs a citywide solution. This is why Fair Workweek LA is working on a policy change to make jobs in the retail and grocery sector sustainable, good paying jobs.