Resolution 2020.12.02: Fair Workweek PA Paper Resolution

Author: Policy Committee

Whereas, all workers, by virtue of being workers, face inescapable constraints on how they can spend their time; and

Whereas, such constraints are particularly severe for low-income and hourly wage workers, whose schedules are fully at the whims of their employers, and increasingly subject to “just-in-time” practices requiring them to be constantly ready to work at a moment’s notice; and

Whereas, these conditions exact serious psychological tolls on workers, and eliminate their ability to live healthy and full lives; and

Whereas, the tradition of socialism includes fights to decrease workers’ time on the job and increase workers’ time for leisure, family, friends, personal pursuits, and general well-being; and

Whereas, by the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly one half to three quarters of American workers were living paycheck-to-paycheck, including millions of Pennsylvanians; and

Whereas, uncertainty surrounding work schedules makes workers’ lives even more precarious, as the volatility of payment has them perpetually teetering on the brink of financial ruin; and

Whereas, over the past several decades, the US has shifted from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy; and

Whereas, service-sector jobs have long suffered from a dearth of union representation, low wages, and even more precarious schedules, all of which have exacerbated these problems; and

Whereas, there currently exist no legal protections of workers’ time that would mitigate these issues; and

Whereas, Pennsylvania State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler introduced Fair Workweek legislation in May 2019 (HR 1436) and will return to Harrisburg next session to continue to fight for workers’ rights; and

Whereas, legislation for a Fair Workweek represents a chance at a meaningful improvement in the lives of workers, and a first step toward reclaiming control of time,

Therefore be it resolved, that Philadelphia DSA accept the policy positions recommended by the Policy Committee in its Fair Workweek Policy Paper (summary available here).

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