WASHINGTON, D.C. —The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today released the following statement in response to a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate and its impact on workers’ hours.
“The UFCW appreciates that the House Ways and Means Committee is exploring the very real problem of employers cutting workers’ hours in response to the ACA. However, both the Forty Hours is Full Time Act and the Save American Workers Act are good sounding names for bad policy. Instead of eliminating the incentive for reducing workers’ hours, these bills would make the problem worse by allowing companies to get off scot free for failing to cover those who work between 30 and 39 hours a week—including many UFCW members in the retail industry. This is not about protecting workers—it’s about appeasing large employers that want to avoid paying their fair share for health care. An analysis by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education found that this approach would put three times as many workers in danger of having their hours cut. For these workers, fewer hours means less money to support their families. There is a better way forward. The House should pass Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights which would amend the ACA to impose a pro-rated penalty on employers who do not provide health care to part-timers. This would effectively end the incentive for cutting hours.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.