In an op-ed posted in The Hill , UFCW International President Marc Perrone writes that it’s “Time to change our reliance on low-wage, part-time jobs.”
He continues, saying that in today’s economy, far too many working families are being forced to work multiple, low-wage jobs in order to make ends meet, thanks to employers cutting hours and not paying a living wage. Specifically, he says that Walmart and its business model are driving this trend:
“Take Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, where tens of thousands workers rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps just to survive.
We must not expect better from companies like Walmart; we must demand it.
Already we’ve seen workers from across the country join together to fight and take back control of their lives. Low-wage, part-time workers across the retail and the service industries are standing up for their right to higher wages, better benefits, and a voice on the job.
The simple fact is that incredibly dedicated workers, like Fermín Rodriguez of Los Angeles, California, have been at the forefront of the fight for better wages and working conditions.
Rodriguez works at the El Super grocery chain that has chosen to follow Walmart’s poor wage business model.
Instead of acknowledging their responsibility to workers like Rodriguez, El Super went as far as to illegally fire him for speaking out for workplace changes that would improve the lives of his family and coworkers. Even in 2015, it took a rare court order demanding the company immediately remedy their unlawful treatment to get his job back.
The case of Rodriguez is sadly not new or unique.
Yesterday, at the White House’s Summit on Worker Voice, the struggles of Rodriguez and many other hard-working men and women were heard by the administration, employers, and advocates. It’s time America heard the real life struggles of those across the retail and other industries.
But talk will not be enough. We must take action.”