Blog

RSS

Indianapolis Retail Workers, Allies, Mobilize for Bill of Rights

Lift-RetailOn June 17, members of the newly formed Lift Retail Jobs Campaign, held a press conference to highlight the economic plight of local retail workers and  unveiled a Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Lift Retail Jobs Campaign is a coalition of retail workers, local businesses, and community groups who  have a vested interest in improving the quality of retail jobs in Indianapolis.

The newly launched campaign is challenging retailers in Indianapolis to be better corporate citizens and support a Bill of Rights for retail workers which  promotes workplace protections so that all workers in this growing industry have a pathway to the middle class. The workplace protections include full-time work and access to hours; fair scheduling practices; access to healthcare benefits; and paid sick leave for both full and part-time workers.

Debra Hill, a retail worker with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, addressed the media and the assembled crowd of nearly 100 workers  and community supporters.

“We’re finally seeing jobs being created in our city again, but they’re mostly in these low-wage industries, like fast food, retail, and service work,” Hill said. “Our city can’t recover while hardworking people are paid poverty wages.”

Hill presented members of the Indianapolis City-County Council, including Pamela Hickman, Monroe Gray, and Kip Tew, with a copy of the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights.

The retail industry in Indianapolis is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and a significant employer of women and people of color; but many of these jobs are low-wage, part-time positions with erratic hours that are preventing retail workers from climbing up the economic ladder. A recent study conducted by the research and policy center Demos and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) notes that, nationwide, people of color in the retail industry are often relegated to lower-paid positions and given fewer hours. Thirty percent of women in the retail industry live in poverty or near poverty.

Jessica Dixon has 16 years of retail experience in Indianapolis. “When you work in the retail industry, you sacrifice so much for so little. The pay is low, scheduling is unpredictable, we don’t share in the company’s success when they profit, and we’re treated like we’re disposable,” Dixon said.  “A Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights would protect our rights and make it possible for people like me to imagine a future in this industry.”

For more information about the Lift Retail Jobs Campaign and the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights, visit www.LiftRetailJobs.org.

UFCW Statement on Obergefell v. Hodges

Supreme Court Rainbow Pillar_FINALWASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Today, marriage equality is finally the law of the land. This decision secures equality and dignity for every family in all fifty states. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people – not just the right of all people to marry the person they love, but also equal rights when it comes to employment and immigration policies. It is a historic victory that was simply unimaginable just two decades ago.

While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law. In a majority of states, there is nothing to prevent a worker from being discriminated against or fired simply because of who they love, or because of their gender identity or expression. And LGBT workers’ partners and families can be unfairly excluded from workplace policies and benefits like health coverage or family leave.

A UFCW union contract is often the only protection LGBT workers and their families have from these indignities. The UFCW is proud to play a part in the growing momentum towards equality – from bargaining union contracts that recognize LGBT workers and their families, to fighting for change at the state level, to marching in solidarity at pride parades and celebrations in towns across America.”

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Subsidies in All 50 States

11665406_10153193393666749_8099459520042401960_n

via Barack Obama

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance subsidies as legal in a 6-3 ruling.  The decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who need financial assistance to purchase health insurance, and means that tax credits for middle class and low-income Americans will be available in all 50 states.

The King v. Burwell case argued that the federal government exchange, Healthcare.gov, did not have the legal authority to distribute tax credits to help middle class and low-income Americans purchase coverage. Since 34 states rely on Healthcare.gov as their health insurance marketplace, a decision in favor of the challengers would have undermined the entire purpose of the ACA and put health coverage out of reach for 6.4 million people.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.