An open letter to Matt Mahood

I’m in San Jose, CA through the election helping get out the vote for a historic ballot measure, The Opportunity to Work, which requires employers to offer available hours that open up to their current part-time employees. Many employers — particularly big retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and others and fast food chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks — are only hiring people part time, so they can avoid paying benefits, and keep a large pool of part timers they can retaliate against and intimidate with the threat of messing with their schedules.

This makes life impossible for families, because people have to pick up 2 or even 3 part time jobs to make ends meet — working hours whenever they can, spread out throughout the day and into the night, driving all across town, and ultimately only getting paid for a few of those hours. It’s terrible.

The Chamber of Commerce claimed this simple, common sense measure of giving workers first dibs on available hours would be “devastating.” Nilsa, a worker at McDonald’s who got her hours cut sets them straight in this op-ed: what’s truly “devastating” is not getting enough hours to buy groceries so you have to go hungry just so you can feed your kids.

Now elected officials across San Jose are getting Nilsa’s back in support of her and Measure E. They are #HungryforOpportunity too, so they are going to only eat on the food budget that Nilsa has as an underemployed worker.

This measure will cover ALL WORKERS — including the biggest retail and fast food corporations in the US — and we’re going to pass it here in San Jose, the 10th largest city in the US. We’re working twoard an amazing victory for the Fair Workweek Initiative and all part-time workers like Nilsa so they can build stable lives and provide for their families!

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