Workers across Washington are speaking out about unpredictable, inflexible work schedules that are wreaking havoc on their lives. For some, the issue is getting too few hours. For others, it’s getting too many. And many workers deal with unpredictable schedules that change at the last minute. But they all have one thing in common: they’re dealing with employers who don’t respect their time or their lives outside of work. And they’re ready to speak out and call for a change.
Check out the stories below to learn more about the issues affecting workers across, Washington, and then click here to let us know what’s going on with your work schedule.
NOT ENOUGH HOURS
“Could Office Depot, a $5 billion a year company, have afforded to give one worker 6 more hours a week? Of course they could. But then what they’re going to say is, “Oh, but then everyone wants that.” And to an executive that’s about getting a bonus, but to the rest of us it’s about whether we get to eat. It’s about whether I eat my 25-cent-a-package ramen, or whether I get to splurge on a salad.”
— Anthony, Office Depot, Seattle
TOO MANY HOURS
“My schedule is supposed to be set Monday to Friday with a cap of 30 hours. I know a lot of people want more hours, but I’m collecting retirement, so if I work more than that, my income is considered too high and the government takes half of it as a penalty. So I just want 30 hours and that 30 hours was how it was supposed to be when they hired me, but they can’t seem to make it happen.”
— Roy, Walmart, Poulsbo
SCHEDULE CONFLICTING WITH SCHOOL
“I’m in school right now, and when I get a shift that’s in conflict with my school schedule, usually I get one of my coworkers to cover all or part of the shift. I've gotten close with a few coworkers specifically so we can help each other cover shifts when we need it. We can't rely on our schedule, so we rely on each other."
— Daniel, barista, Olympia
SHIFTS CUT SHORT
“Last time I was at the mall, I was with my little cousins. We were watching a movie. I had my Chipotle clothes, my Chipotle shirt and stuff, in her little bag because I already knew that they might call me in.
And then when I went home, he called me in. He just needed me there for an hour.
— Jenny, Chipotle, Tukwila
NO ACCESS TO FULL-TIME HOURS
“I’d like to get more hours at the Dollar Tree because that job pays so much more. But Dollar Tree is all part-time. Even the assistant manager is part-time. The only full-time people are the upper-level management. It’s a store policy. They save money — for me it's an excellent part-time no benefit job, but they stay away from the benefit part by making it part-time. Some people are retired, or on social security, and you can only work a certain amount of hours, so this works for them. But it's not for everybody. If it's your only job, you need full-time and healthcare.”
— Kathy, Dollar Tree/Goodwill, Kirkland
NOT ENOUGH TIME TO REST
“Most of the time, when we’re scheduled days off, we don’t get two days in a row. Instead you’ll get a Wednesday this week and then you work three days, then a Sunday off, then the next week you might actually get two days in a row, then the following week after that, it’s two random days again. And that can keep going on for your entire career, up to management even. Workers in a lot of industries have fought hard to get two days in a row off, and yet retail is still behind on that.”
— Dana, PetSmart, Tukwila
Any of this sound familiar to you? Or are there issues you’re seeing with your schedule that aren’t represented here? Click here and tell us your story!