Why Today’s Shopping Sucks

Why Today’s Shopping Sucks

Washington Monthly

Brigid Schulte


In just the past five years, even at a time of historically low union membership, stories of millions of workers like Ugalde, Hughes, and Worthen have sparked a newly energized worker movement. Last February, workers won a successful class-action lawsuit in California, arguing that on-call scheduling amounted to abusive wage theft. Organizations like Ugalde’s Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and unions, including Worthen and Hughes’s United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), have been organizing to pass stable-scheduling legislation. (Research shows that low-income workers have more schedule volatility in states with smaller union membership.) Already, the cities of San Francisco, Emeryville, San Jose, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, as well as the entire state of Oregon, have passed fair-scheduling laws to give workers more notice and to guarantee some pay if they come in to work and are sent home