Three Thousand NYC Fast Food Workers Sign Petition for Better Conditions and Organizing Rights

The workers are advocating for bills that would tackle the issue of “clopenings” and allow them more latitude to organize.

by Alex Swerdloff
May 11 2017, 7:08pm

When you're a fast food worker, low pay is only one part of a much larger problem.
That's why workers convened on New York's City Hall yesterday—many of whom were among the 3,000 workers who had already signed a petition—asking New York City Council members to support a package of bills that they say would bring stability to both their jobs and their home lives.

A massive issue in the fast food industry is scheduling; workers regularly complain of erratic hours, last-minute schedule changes, and having to work "clopenings"—meaning having to close and open a store without enough time to sleep in between. A series of bills called the Fair Work Week legislation, now before the New York City Council addresses these issues in several ways. First, the laws would require employers to provide two weeks' advance notice to workers of their schedules—or pay them a penalty. The legislation would also require employers to offer available shifts to existing part-timers, rather than hire new workers. Plus, the laws would discourage clopenings with the use of penalties.

The purpose of the legislation is, in part, to would allow workers more easily to arrange for child care or take on second jobs. Among its supporters is New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio and council member Ben Kallos, who attended the rally today. He told MUNCHIES, "Fast food workers deserve respect from their employers and these laws will make sure we are taking steps in that direction." He called the legislation "common sense" and said it "will go a long way towards improving quality of life for New York City workers. I was proud to show my support."

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