More Retail Workers Protesting JIT Scheduling

Some of its members are Hostess employees with their jobs in jeopardy as the Twinkies maker prepares to liquidate, but the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has a bigger challenge on its hands. The union's Sustainable Scheduling Campaign is most noticeable in New York City, where two of the flagship 5th Avenue retail chains -– Bloomingdales and Macy's -– have agreed to let unionized workers choose their preferred hours of work and set their own schedules and vacation time, Maggie Freleng reported Nov. 12 in a Women's eNews ( article about a growing number of protests by workers who say they can't pay their bills because their employers' use of just-in-time scheduling is cutting their hours and imposing very difficult schedules.

WalMart and Abercrombie & Fitch are two chains facing petitions and/or strikes as the 2012 holiday shopping season is about to begin.

About 4.3 million people held retail sales jobs in 2010, and 37 percent of them were working part time, according to BLS, which estimates job growth will be 17 percent in the retail industry between 2010 and 2020.

Freleng's article explains the goals of the campaign ( and refers to a 2011 report prepared by RWDSU's Retail Action Project and Stephanie Luce of CUNY's Murphy Institute that was based on a survey of 436 retail workers. More than half earned less than $10 an hour, and more than 70 percent did not get health insurance from their jobs. The report said only 17 percent of the workers had a regular schedule.

To read the report, visit

Posted by Jerry Laws on Nov 19, 2012