Thursday, May 19, 2016

UFCW 2016 Lobby Day...A Success!

On Tuesday UFCW & RWDSU members from throughout New York hopped on buses to our state capital, Albany. Over 100 UFCW members attended Lobby Day this year, to lobby for legislation to help UFCW families.

Local 1500 members with NYS Assembly Member Michaƫlle Solages
Jerome Gomez, who works at Fairway on Long Island, explained why he went to Lobby Day this year said, “We are the voice for the working families. It’s very important that here in Albany, they hear us and our families. We are here to represent our community and our neighborhoods. The assemblymen and women we saw today, they live in our neighborhoods, they need to know and see us representing our community.”

James Williams, a UFCW Local 1500 member from Fairway Market, spoke about his first lobby day experience, “It gives you a chance to actually speak to the people who make things happen for your community. I was very pleasantly surprised the way they took to us and they were open to our ideas and agendas. I’ll definitely be back.”

Thank you to all UFCW New York Local Unions and members that joined: Local One Local 888 Local 2013 Local 1500 Local 342 Local 1262 Local 1245 Local 464-A RWDSU Local 338 RWDSU Local 1102

What We Lobbied For: 

 Pass Fair Work Schedules S-52 & A-261

 Problem: Companies use “on-call” scheduling to force people to work harder and longer and be unaware of their shift until the last moment. These “on-call” shifts require workers to call their employer, often just hours before their shift starts, to and out if they should come in. While there is no guarantee of a shift, the worker is expected to be available, preventing them from attending to other responsibilities.
Solution: S-52/A-261 would guarantee at least four hours of pay (at minimum wage) for workers who are required to contact their employer or wait to be contacted less than 24-hours before their shift starts.  Workers in New York are currently guaranteed four hours of pay each day they report to their job. S-52/A-261 simply closes a loophole that employers are using to avoid this requirement.

Repeal Minimum Wage Reimbursement Tax Credit S-1280 & A-6532 (also known as the “Walmart Tax Break”) 
If an employer in New York State hires a student aged 16-19 and pays them minimum wage, then they are provided with a tax credit of $1.35 multiplied by the total number of hours worked by all eligible employees.

Problems with this tax credit:  All employers are eligible—including: Walmart, McDonalds, etc.
n Provides employers with an incentive to hire young workers and pay them low. As of 2013, 90 percent of New York’s lowest wage workers were above age 20. n The New York Department of Taxation and Finance estimates the credit will cost the State $43 million in FY 2016. n Does not require employers to disclose participation or credit received. n The cost of the program is not capped.

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