Philadelphia AFL-CIO supports the campaign for a Fair Workweek

Philadelphia City Council has played a leading role in the fight to support our city's working people. In the last 5 years, Council has responded positively to grassroots campaigns, passing forward-thinking legislation to guarantee working Philadelphians paid sick leave, and protecting Philadelphia's workers from wage theft. Organized labor was proud to join each of those campaigns, and proud of our City Council for setting those higher standards.

Now, the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO has joined forces with a coalition of grassroots organizations to tackle a serious problem facing millions of workers across the country: unfair, unpredictable, and unstable scheduling practices by employers who want to use "just-in-time" scheduling for their workforces. It means that workers never know how many hours they'll get from one week to the next; can't predict when their shits will happen, so they can't work more than one job, even if they're wiling to work the extra hours; and can't enroll in school or job training programs, or schedule doctors' appointments or meeting with their children's teachers.

The Fair Workweek PHL campaign is raising the visibility of this problem for Philadelphia's working families, with rallies, information on the web and social media, and testimony at City Council.

At a recent hearing before City Councils Committee on Children and Youth, Chaired by Councilmember Helen Gym, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO President Pat Eiding delivered the following testimony:

Good Afternoon, Members of City Council and my fellow witnesses.

My name is Patrick Eiding and I am proud to say I serve as President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, representing 150,000 working people here in Philadelphia.

From my perspective as a labor leader with a few years under my belt, working people are forced to work stagnant wages under deteriorating conditions.

It is with that in mind that the Philadelphia Council has elected to support the campaign for a Fair Workweek.

We believe strongly in the dignity of work and that all workers – and I want to emphasize that – all workers deserve to be treated fairly in their workplace.

This initiative fits into what we believe Philadelphia is about; a wonderful city where we take care of each other. That’s why this Council has tackled paid sick leave, a wage theft and most recently, pay disparity based on gender or race.

To demonstrate our commitment to this issue, I have assigned our Campaign Manager Danny Bauder to this campaign. Danny will be calling members of City Council, if you haven’t already heard from him on this issue, you will soon.

I want to thank the City Council Committee for inviting me to speak and giving me the opportunity to provide labor’s perspective on this issue.

The Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO will continue our active participation in the Fair Workweek PHL coalition, and we'll keep our affiliates informed of rallies, hearings, and actions we can undertake to support this campaign.