More Than Just Fried Snickers at the Minnesota State Fair

Yesterday at the Minnesota State Fair, Working America was highlighted at the AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion. Working America members worked the booth and informed fairgoers about the importance of raising the minimum wage in Minnesota and launched our new Fair Scheduling Campaign that focuses on retail workers and service employees.

“Fair and predictable scheduling is important for so many reasons,” said Avita Samuels, a Working America member who is a retail worker at the Mall of America. “It really ties into this whole ‘Raise the Wage’ Campaign, as it really applies to somebody’s ability to make decent living for themselves.”

Working America members collected petition signatures from those who believe that all workers deserve a job with a schedule that guarantees they are able to work enough hours to provide for their families. All signatures will be taken to the Minnesota Department of Labor to commission a study, which could then lead to legislation that supports predictable scheduling, particularly in the retail and service industries.

“If workers don’t have fair scheduling, they are not able to  really plan ahead for the future, they are not able to get a second job if necessary,” Avita continued. “They are unable to do things like care for their kids because they can’t find babysitters as things are constantly changing. And it’s also just really important to know how to budget these days.”

A workplace troubleshooter was also at the Working America booth talking to visitors who expressed concerns with particular aspects on the job and highlighted the new FixMyJob.com web tool.

“This is why FixMyJob.com and the Dear David column are so necessary,” said member Leann Bosques. “People have real concerns out there and don’t know how deal with them. These tools give suggestions and solutions in areas and even some laws that pertain to workers, so it’s all very helpful.”

Ultimately with Working America Day, members sought to pass on a bigger message about using collective action to make changes. “Working America is so important and I think the labor movement is something that everyone should be involved in,” Leann said, “There’s strength in numbers and we have to make sure that the economy is improved but we can only do that if we do it together.”

To join our campaign for fair scheduling in Minnesota, email Chase at cbrandau@workingamerica.org

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