Landmark Labor Law Adds to Emeryville's Progressive Minimum Wage Ordinance
|Emeryville workers joined social justice activists and clergy|
for a pre-meeting pep rally on the steps of City Hall.
Emeryville already has the highest minimum wage in the country at $14.44 with a path to $16, and with this complimentary new policy, our town stands to become one of the most progressive cities in the Bay Area to address income inequality and the crisis of underemployment. The new policy will confront and seek to rectify the epidemic of low-wage part-time work while also addressing the problem of unpredictable hours workers face.
“This policy costs employers virtually nothing and does something very simple: provide working people with reliable, predictable hours,” said Jennifer Lin, Deputy Director of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. “Workers will now be able to budget and be able to plan for childcare, second jobs, education, and even rest.”
With Tuesday night's vote, the Council sends a strong pro-labor message to those corporate entities doing business in Emeryville in the form of a strong policy without the usual loopholes, making large corporate retail chains and fast food companies provide schedules two weeks in advance so workers can budget and plan their lives. Workers will be compensated for last minute changes in schedules. When more hours are available, current workers would get priority so they can get closer to full-time work.
The policy is the first in the East Bay and third in the country following San Francisco and Seattle.
Earlier this year, a coalition supporting workers issues and social equity issues unveiled a study co-authored by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE). It revealed that 68% of workers are only receiving part-time hours; 2/3 want more hours; and a staggering 80% have hours that fluctuate from week to week.
EBASE helped craft language in the new law that some Council members have intoned will help offset decades of accommodation of business interests at the expense of workers by City Hall.