Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council leaders have backed off from including fair scheduling protections in a proposed Working Families Agenda moving through the City Council.
The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation is part of a coalition, #MPLSWorks, advocating for a package of city proposals including fair scheduling, paid sick time, wage theft enforcement, and a $15 per hour minimum wage.
In the face of growing push-back from the business community, however, Hodges announced Oct. 14 that fair scheduling would be pulled — “for now” — from the Working Families Agenda.
The #MPLSWorks campaign issued the following statement in response to Hodges’ move:
“Closing racial and economic gaps is the most urgent issue facing Minneapolis. It is incredibly disappointing that our elected officials are backing away from one important part of the Working Families Agenda, fair scheduling protections, which would go a long way toward shrinking the racial divide in Minneapolis. We continue to believe that this protection — like earned sick and safe time and the prevention of wage theft — are urgently needed solutions for Minneapolis workers. We will join with workers, policymakers, business owners, and community members to continue to press for policies that improves the lives of Minneapolis families.”
The Working Families Agenda — minus the #MPLSWorks call for a $15 per hour minimum wage — had been on a fast track for City Council approval by the end of 2015. In response, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce —backed by the state’s largest corporations and leading CEOs —has organized an opposition campaign and created the “Workforce Fairness Coalition.”
In a statement, Hodges said, “when it comes to fair, predictable scheduling, I have heard from many people, including many business owners, that the issue is complicated and that more time is needed to engage in this important issue… As a result, I have come to the conclusion that we are not in a position to resolve the concerns satisfactorily on the timeline currently contemplated.”
City Council Members Elizabeth Glidden and Lisa Bender, who had led on the Working Families Agenda, trimmed the 28-day advance scheduling proposal to a 14-day compromise, but that still was unacceptable to business opponents.
The #MPLSWorks coalition said: “What this debate has shown so far is there is a bright line between those who are willing to engage in conversations toward crafting a solution and those who only seek to say no to everything. The hourly workers, mostly women and people of color, need basic protections in the workplace.”
A public hearing on the proposed Working Families Agenda is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at the City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Minneapolis City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St., Room 317.
More information about the city’s proposals is available at the City Council website.