City Hall

The Follow Up to $15: Secured Scheduling

The bottom line in labor's latest fight is more about power than money.

By Josh Feit April 25, 2016

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My latest article for the magazine is online. It's about labor's follow-up demand to the $15 hour minimum wage: secured scheduling.

From the intro:

Secured scheduling doesn’t have the same visceral appeal as “15 Now”—Working Washington’s winning mantra during the minimum wage fight. But it may be more important to workers.

“A living wage is wonderful,” Darrion Sjoquist, a Starbucks barista at the MLK and Rainier Avenue store says, “if you’re working enough hours to make a living wage.” And Melanie, a barista at the Fifth and Columbia Starbucks, notes a compounding problem with erratic schedules: “If you can’t get full time at one place, and the schedule [there] prevents you from getting another job, then [the $15 minimum wage] does you no good.” Both baristas have signed on to Working Washington’s campaign; Sjoquist in fact stood up and publicly challenged Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz about the issue at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in March. (The coffee giant recently reaffirmed its policy to set schedules two weeks in advance.)

Sejal Parikh, Working Washington’s executive director, agrees the issue is a bigger deal than her group’s original signature campaign. “The $15 minimum wage was about money, but secure scheduling is about power.”


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