As many Philly teens were checking into class on Tuesday, 19-year-old Natori Price was joining a rally at Philadelphia City Hall to demand City Council join other big cities including New York and San Francisco in passing Fair Workweek legislation.
Price, who works at a Target Store in Center City, was joined by hundreds of low-wage workers from the city's retail and service industries who say they face constantly changing schedules and insufficient work hours, making it hard for workers to predict their incomes and make ends meet.
"We're not asking for much, we're asking that employers treat their workers with respect and give them a work schedule that reflects that," said Pat Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO which is part of the Fair Workweek Philadelphia advocacy campaign.
Organizers claim they have recent surveys that show more than 60% of Philadelphia wage workers in the retail and service industries report they receive irregular and variable work schedules, which impacts their ability to predict what winds up in their pockets on payday.
Fair Workweek Philadelphia's proposals have gained initial support from two Philadelphia Councilmembers, including Helen Gym who announced hearings on February 28 on the impact of unfair scheduling on city workers. "I'm looking forward to centering the voices of our low wage workers and working with all interested in solutions," said Gym.
While City Council hearings on specific issues do bring additional attention to causes, they are not a guarantee of follow-up legislation. Natori Price, the only working relative among seven people in her household is hoping something meaningful will happen. "I'm really the only one to be able to come out here, make money, and provide for them."