Activists demand 'fair work week' legislation at City Hall

Workers come out for May Day protest.

Cherri Gregg
May 01, 2018 - 1:40 pm
Hotel workers protest on May Day

Cherri Gregg-KYW Newsradio


Service workers and activists held a May Day protest at Philadelphia City Hall, demanding that City Council pass a bill to force employers to stabilize working conditions.

"We need a fair work week -- and we demand a fair work week," shouted activists. Demonstrators represented groups such as Philadelphia Student Union, Unite Here and One Pennsylvania -- and workers in retail, food and hospitality industries who say that unstable work schedules from week to week, less than full-time hours, and fear of retailiation are wreaking havoc on their lives.

"They expect us to live off of 20 hours a week or 30 hours a week," said Robb Kee, who works in the back room at the Target store on City Avenue. In his 20s, he says he's unable to go back to school and get his own place on the $11/hour job. He's hoping "fair work week" legislation will force big corporations to treat low-wage workers with respect.

"Our cities will be stronger when we can support our families," he said.

New York and San Francisco have passed policies that require employers to give advance notice of work schedules and off hours to current employees before hiring new staff.