As the retail industry grows, it is adopting “lean” manufacturing practices to manage a part-time workforce. Retailers’ just-in-time scheduling practices take advantage of sophisticated software and an increasingly desperate workforce to cut labor costs to the bone. The current lack of public protections around work hours, paired with persistent unemployment and high underemployment, has left workers vulnerable to abusive cost-reduction strategies. Trends in retail may represent the frontier of new employer practices that have major implications for workers in a range of industries, unless we take steps now to intervene in these troubling practices. Short-Shifted looks at how scheduling relates to workers’ daily experiences on the job, the effects of open availability requirements, and the challenges of managing income with unstable hours.
Posted by Darrah Sipe 2 Comments