Give San Jose the Opportunity to Work

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While the Silicon Valley economy is booming, working people and their families are caught in an ever-increasing struggle to make ends meet, fueled by a crisis of underemployment.

The minimum wage is finally catching up, but working people can’t even make it one $15 if they aren’t getting enough hours at work. The fight for fair wages can’t be separated from the fight for fair work hours.

The Opportunity to Work Initiative would provide hourly workers the opportunity to work more hours so they can earn enough to pay their bills and put food on the table. It would require large companies to offer additional work hours to current qualified part-time workers FIRST before hiring new staff. This first-of-its-kind initiative is headed towards the November ballot in San Jose, California, the nation's 10th largest city.

The report A Hidden Crisis: Underemployment in Silicon Valley's Hourly Workforce, shows
  • 64,000 working people in San Jose – overwhelmingly made up of women, people of color, and immigrants – do not have full-time work.
  • The portion of the hourly workforce without full-time work has shot up from 26 to 43 percent in the last decade.
  • 77 percent of hourly part-time workers earn less than $15 per hour.

“Despite the fact that I work three part-time jobs, I struggle to make ends meet. Every week the number of hours I get changes, so I am never sure what my paycheck will be,” said Sara Delte, a fast food employee. “Not having access to more work hours means that I am constantly worried about being able to provide for my son, cover my rent and pay the bills.”

Endorse the Opportunity to Work Initiative to build the movement for fair hours.

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