Neighborhoods Organizing for Change Report Argues for More Worker Rights

vector revolution hand on red  and orange background

vector revolution hand on red and orange background

In a report released July 15, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), a liberal advocacy group for “racial and economic justice,” looked at the problems concerning hourly work in Minneapolis.

NOC surveyed over 500 North Minneapolis residents, looking at trends in hourly wage workers. The survey showed that a combined 47 percent of respondents work in retail and food service. In these fields, the survey asked about scheduling at respondent’s job, and how much notice he or she has of his or her work schedule. Fifty-five percent of workers surveyed said they have less than one week’s notice of their schedules. NOC then proposed that the city of Minneapolis should make employers provide more notice to workers of their work schedules.

Additionally, NOC talks about the problem of workers being assigned 40 hours or more one week and then 20 or fewer the next. NOC says this inconsistency puts hourly workers in a tough spot trying to pay bills from one week to the next.

Managers of hourly retail and food service have pointed out that the problem with notice and unstable hours is explained by the hourly workers’ co-workers needing to change their schedules last minute because life events arise.

NOC also ascertained that 67 percent workers find themselves in situations where they want more hours per week. NOC proposes to solve this problem by requiring employers to offer more hours to current employees before hiring one.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to provide health care to all full-time employees, said that the requirement would cause businesses to make more people work only part-time to save on healthcare costs.

All of the solutions in the report are similar to efforts across the country called the retail workers bill of rights, which has gained traction in places like San Francisco and Indianapolis. Currently, the Minneapolis City Council has not adopted any of the proposed policies, but NOC has been instrumental in getting ideas passed like the Minnesota minimum wage increase.