California Forum

The Conversation

Protesters in Sacramento support unionizing fast-food workers in December.
Protesters in Sacramento support unionizing fast-food workers in December.

The plight of fast-food workers and retail employees on the fight over low pay and scheduling is drawing increasing attention. Last Sunday’s Conversation asked the question: What is your view of businesses using more and more part-time workers in minimum-wage jobs with unpredictable work schedules?

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Kimmi Tyler – It has become a huge problem for my family. My husband had worked as the shipping and receiving manager for The Gap while also able to work part time at Starbucks, but when Gap eliminated his position to pay minimum-wage employees. He has found it extremely difficult to find another job that will offer full-time work or at least promise all evening work so he can have another part-time job.

Wes Moody – I’m fine either way. Labor is a marketplace. If they want to collectively bargain, I’m fine with it.

Mike Edwards – When are the unions going to stop trying to save their sinking business model by trying to unionize minimum-wage and part-time jobs. Millions of union jobs have shifted overseas. Fast food and other entry-level employers should not be required to make up for a failing economy, poor life choices and the collapse of unions.

Carmichael Craig – On time scheduling is used by employers to harass employees into quitting. Or to make their lives just miserable enough in an attempt to make them work harder to try and get a better schedule. It’s wrong, immoral, and hopefully illegal by year’s end.

Francine Davies – Their entire business structure should not be based on part-time only help. There should be a mix of full-time and part-time positions available. Instead of milking their customers and employees dry for profits and forcing their employees to be on public assistance, there should be a conscious effort to create a balance. Now, we just need to figure out how to eliminate greed.

Georgiana White – This is just another way to build profits by avoiding perks such as health care and retirement. The result is high turnover, poor service and creating a bigger divide between upper class and those living in poverty. Capitalism at its worst.

Sally Sarina – Sometimes part-time jobs work for both employees and employers. I worked permanent part-time (regular hours) while our children were young so I could be home when they got out of school. I was paid a decent wage. As a business owner I hired many high school students in my fast-food restaurant and paid them higher than minimum wage. If owners are willing to take a bit less for themselves, it works.