Working Washington, an organized labor front group known advocating higher minimum wages, has found a new regulatory approach for killing jobs: shift scheduling. The organization recently announced its campaign by stating,
“Just like Seattle workers led the way forward in the fight for $15, we’re going to lead the way to win one of the nation’s first secure-scheduling laws.”
Just what does “secure-scheduling” mean? Via the Washington Policy Center,
“Known alternatively as ‘predictive,’ ‘predictable,’ ‘fair’ or ‘secure’ scheduling, such regulations require employers to provide workers with an advance schedule, usually set at two to three weeks. Along with the advance scheduling is typically a ‘predictability pay’ penalty if an employer changes a worker’s hours after the advance notice window, and often includes guaranteed minimum pay for workers who are ‘on-call’ but not called in to work. It also usually includes provisions limiting how a business can utilize full-time and part-time workers.”
Of course, Working Washington has not offered any real specifics on its latest plan to control every aspect of how small businesses operate in Seattle. However, the group claims that it intends to, in addition to other vaguely described regulations, push for advanced notice of shifts and “the opportunity to work any extra hours before additional part-time employees are hired.”
San Francisco already has “secure-scheduling” regulations
Contrary to Working Washington’s claims, if its campaign succeeds, Seattle would not be the first city to adopt regulations of this kind. San Francisco—surprise, surprise—already beat Seattle to this liberal punch.
San Francisco adopted a “Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Employees Ordinance” that includes much of the same regulations hinted at by Working Washington. Of course, that means San Francisco provides an interesting case study on how the regulations impact small businesses and their workers.
And, it’s not pretty. Via the Washington Policy Center,
“Employers in San Francisco report the restrictions prevent them from bringing in more staff to quickly respond to changing market conditions. For example, an unexpected warm weather streak last summer increased consumer traffic for many retailers; businesses say they were unable to call in extra staff and consumers were frustrated by the lack of sufficient service.
“And some workers complain the city’s new regulations have discouraged employers from offering them extra hours or shifts on short notice because they would be required to pay the extra “predictability pay” penalty. These workers say they want the opportunity to work those extra hours and would be happy to do so on short notice without earning the additional predictability pay.”
Working Washington’s less-than altruistic motives
Tellingly, the $15 minimum wage law pushed by Working Washington in Seattle contained an exemption for unions. Of course, the true motivation behind the labor-backed push was to encourage “employers to become union shops in order to take advantage of the exemptions.”
The goal for labor front groups like Working Washington is that unionization becomes the “low cost option for employers to avoid paying the otherwise mandated benefits.” Additionally, more unionized employers means more union members, which means more union dues, which means more campaign money for Democrat politicians.
As Shift reported, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce explored the “union escape clauses” and concluded that they are, in fact, “designed to encourage unionization by making a labor union the potential ‘low-cost’ alternative to new wage mandates, and it raises serious questions about whom these minimum wage laws are actually intended to benefit.”
The hypocritical exemptions pushed by Working Washington even earned the criticism of a socialist group called Fourth International (founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938).
It’s unclear whether or not Working Washington plans to include similar exemptions in its latest attempt to control and punish small businesses in Seattle. Though, it’s difficult to imagine the AFL-CIO-backed group is not acting with big-labor motivation in mind.
“Seattle workers led the way forward in the fight for $15”
What a bunch of BS. There was no “fight”. Seattle workers did nothing. The leftist “Income inequality committee” pulled the number out of thin air and the silly clowncil rubber stamped it with a 9-0 vote.
I know facts don’t really matter here but seattle’s minimum wage law doesn’t actually include any sort of exemption or waiver for collective bargaining. The Seattle sick live law did, yes, as did the SeaTac measure, but not the Seattle minimum wage law.
I never visit Seattle any longer and never plan to do so again!