Council votes, workers rally for Working Families Agenda

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Low-wage workers gathered on the steps of Minneapolis City Hall on Wednesday to rally for a Working Families Agenda that would require paid sick time. Earlier Wednesday, the Minneapolis City Council voted to instruct staff to draft a Working Families ordinance and hold a Nov. 4 public hearing on the change in policy.

After meeting with local business owners and worker’s right advocates, Mayor Betsy Hodges threw her support behind a draft proposal of the Working Families Agenda, which includes the following:

A shorter window of 14 days advance notice of work schedule changes. The initial draft proposal specified a 28-day notice.

Minimum scheduling standards that promote adequate rest between overnight "clopening" shifts, providing at least one 7th day of rest each week.

Allowing current schedules to continue that include "4-10s" -- working 4 days for 10 hours per day.

Phased implementation of the Working Families plan for smaller businesses, allowing extra time to establish new systems and practices.

Cleaning workers for the company contracted by Macy's in downtown Minneapolis announced a Nov. 10 strike deadline for better wages and work rules. The workers were part of a crowd that delivered petitions to the city council to, chanting, “Bosses please stop meddling, we just want fair scheduling.”

But not all service industry workers are in favor of the Working Families Agenda, because the proposal would force restaurants and other businesses to comply with rules that don’t always mesh with the unpredictable nature of their businesses.