WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) today released the following statement regarding the re-introduction of the Schedules that Work Act:
Fair, flexible and reliable scheduling is key to ensuring working families can earn a living with dignity and respect. The Schedules that Work Act would aid hourly employees in some of America’s fastest-growing and lowest-paying industries, workplaces that too often make it difficult to juggle the competing life demands of child care, school and medical appointments.
But while it’s a good first step, most of the legislation would not cover call center workers who also struggle with erratic, unpredictable scheduling policies.
Members of CWA and TU, the union of T-Mobile US workers, aren’t solely relying on Congress, and across the country they’re building a movement to restore a fair workweek for all workers. In Albuquerque, N.M., they recently partnered with the Center for Popular Democracy, OLÉ and other community organizations to support a city council ordinance that would provide workers predictable scheduling, earned sick days and more full-time opportunities. It’s about helping families balance their responsibilities at home with their duties at work. It’s for workers like Luis Castaneda, a husband and father of two children, who has struggled to finish his college degree while working as a senior representative at one of T-Mobile’s call centers in Albuquerque.
“I really want to go to school to better my life -- it’s for my children and for myself,” said Castaneda. “When I got my first shift, I realized this schedule doesn’t work with school, but I thought, ‘Maybe the next shift realignment, I will get a better shift.’ But since then, seven realignments have gone by, and I realized there is not a single shift in our call center that would enable workers to attend classes. T-Mobile always brags about how it encourages workers to go to school and even offers tuition reimbursement, but on a practical level the company makes it impossible to attend any classes. This is super frustrating.”