We need fair schedules in Minneapolis

My name is Jermaine. I’m 20 years old and I moved back to Minnesota from Illinois a year ago. I moved back home because I wanted more stability in my life, for a better job and a better school.

SuperAmerica Workers need fair schedules

I’ve been working at SuperAmerica for almost a year now and I have some real problems with my schedule at work. It goes up and down and changes at the last minute, which causes me hardship in my life. One week I’ll get 32 hours, the next it’s 24 hours – and that has a big impact on my life.

I’m an adult and I don’t want to ask my parents for things, but it’s hard to keep up with that stuff when your schedule changes all the time, with just a few days’ notice. And it’s not just that it changes week to week.

Sometimes I come into work and find that the schedule’s been changed in the middle of the week. My managers pretend they haven’t touched it, but I know they have – I’ve even started taking pictures of my schedule. It happens so often that I just have to cancel my friends and tell them that they’ve changed my schedule again.

I don’t think people understand what it’s like working in a gas station like SuperAmerica.

When you work late and night, you have a lot of encounters with a lot of different people. One of my co-workers had bodily harm to the face. The police were called, but they didn’t come for hours. She confronted the guy taking bags of candy and got hit in the face. We’re back there behind the cash register while these guys are ransacking the place – she got hit in the face.

We asked the district manager to put up glass to protect us, but the district manager doesn’t want the store appearance to turn off customers.

I’ve had someone harass me at work, but our managers did nothing. And all that, for $11 an hour – and, until recently, we were only making $9.50 an hour.

Then, you get no sick days – if you’re sick, you have to find someone to cover your shift. You just have to keep calling people. There’s a lot of pressure not to miss if you’re sick and, of course, if you miss your shift, you don’t get paid.

That’s why I’m so happy that the City is planning to make reforms.

If we had fair schedules and paid time off, It would help a lot. It would lower my stress level. I didn’t know a job can stress you this much before I worked here. I think you’re supposed to like your job, but how can I enjoy that. I enjoy being with my co-workers. We keep each other motivated and together, but we are being overlooked. That’s got to change.

You can help win fair schedules and a better life for Minnesota working people by sending a message to City Council members.

It’s National Voter Registration Day!

I didn’t really value my right to vote until the Supreme Court started messing with the Voting Rights Act. That’s when I saw what voter suppression was. Up until then, I took my right to vote for granted. Not everybody has an easy time voting, and National Voter Registration Day makes sure that everyone has a say in our country’s future.

No matter where you live, you can contribute to advancing progress by participating in our democratic system and voting, and I really love that. My husband and I are in our 80s and we can’t go out to march or rally. But I can write letters and attend meetings. We can all do something, and we all have our part!

As a retired schoolteacher, I know the importance of a good education. Student success in the classroom is often the result of some basics: showing up and being prepared to participate. The same rules apply to civic engagement. You’ve got to be registered to cast a ballot.

Yet, 6 million Americans didn’t vote in 2008 because they either missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register altogether. That’s why National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 22) is such a big deal.

Volunteers and organizations across the country are in motion to reach thousands of people, reminding them why their voices need to be heard and why their participation is vital. Our country stays strong when all voters are informed and know what’s at stake and who’s standing with women and families. Step one in shaping the direction of our communities, states and country is being registered to vote.

National Voter Registration Day provides hundreds of resources and events to set everyone on the right track for Election Day in November. From bringing new voters into the fold to reminding longtime voters how to stay current and registered, this is a day that celebrates one of the biggest protections our democracy offers. Do your part and get started now.

Tags: , ,