Testimony presented by President Fred Wright at Council hearing on Tuesday, October 30th

Members of the Law and Government Committee:

My name is Frederick Wright, President of AFSCME District Council 47.
I represent City employees and workers in the non-profit sector here in Philadelphia and some Brothers and Sisters working outside the City.
I am here today to speak in favor of Bill number 180649.
This bill would provide protections for workers in retail, food service and hospitality establishments. As union workers, we gain workplace related protections for our members through collective bargaining and because of laws passed to protect the rights of union workers. We know that when the rights of workers are protected, its a plus for all of us. We believe in worker solidarity and support fairness concerning worker rights at all workplaces.
We know that people need a clear sense of what hours they will be required to work, how much they will be paid for working those hours and when they are sick that they get health insurance, to help pay for doctor and hospital visits.
Having these concerns backed by the law, as well as having the ability to point out inconsistencies in the application of those laws, without being penalized and being removed from their jobs when raising those concerns is very important for workers.
One of the reasons for union organizing historically has been to protect the rights of workers on the job from arbitrary and unreasonable actions on the parts of employers.
We realize that the 130,00 workers in the retail, food and hospitality workplaces do not have the benefits and protections that we receive as members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. We support City Council in considering this legislation that will provide better protections for those workers.
We urge you to pass this legislation because it will help mothers and fathers with children have a better sense of when they can pick them up from daycare. We urge you to pass this legislation that will help children know when mom and dad will be home to help them with their homework. We urge you to pass this legislation that will enable some people to have a second job so they can better provide for their families.
For all these and many other reasons, we urge you to pass Bill number 180649.