The New York City Council plans to hold a hearing to discuss a new workplace bill Friday, but large union contributions have made some concerned.
The Committee on Civil Service and Labor includes five members of the city council. The committee plans to meet to discuss a bill that puts significant restrictions on how employers can schedule their employees. Labor unions have sparked concern by contributing $154,694 to three committee members.
Lawmakers receive political contributions constantly without it necessarily impacting their decision making. The concern, however, is that the funds given to the three council members are very large for local positions. America Rising Squared (AR2) fears the committee members might ignore concerns over the policy.
“Special interest unions have flooded over $150,000 to three of these committee members so that they will ignore the facts and push forward an agenda that’s destructive to job creation and employers,” America Rising Squared Communications Director Jeremy Adler told InsideSources. “These Council Members need to put the best interest of the Big Apple before Big Labor and oppose this anti-worker legislation.”
America Rising is a nonprofit research group that promotes conservative policies. The scheduling rule would require employers to set schedules for hourly restaurant employees at least two weeks in advance. Unions generally support the policy, but critics have contested it puts unreasonable restrictions on employers.
The issue is that service sector employers cannot always predict exactly how many workers they need at any particular time, which is why they utilize part-time and standby workers. Employers would have a particularly difficult time predicting schedules two weeks out.
The Council members are Elizabeth S. Crowley, I. Daneek Miller, and Daniel Dromm. The labor unions contributing to the members include the Service Employees International Union Local 1199, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 1707, and the Amalgamated Transit Union, among others.
The policy still has plenty of supporters who see it as a necessity for workers. Next Generation, a progressive nonprofit, argued the absence of such laws can make life very tough for workers who have to schedule their work around other life commitments. Many workers have no choice but to work in those industries.
San Francisco and Seattle have adopted similar policies. The Employment Policies Institute, a conservative research nonprofit, looked at the impact of the policy. San Francisco employers became less flexible with employees’ schedule changes, offered fewer part-time positions, scheduled fewer employees per shift, and offered fewer jobs.
The council members and labor unions did not respond to a request for comment by InsideSources.