Grantee Profile: Center for Frontline Retail
In recent years, retail has become one of the largest private-sector employers in the country. Despite the financial success of their employers, however, retail employees increasingly struggle to make ends meet.
The Retail Action Project conducted a study of retail workers called Discounted Jobs: How Retailers Sell Workers Short. The results from the report, published in 2012, show alarming trends in the retail sector — trends that make it difficult for workers to cover basic needs and raise families on the salaries they earn.
The study found that
- Only 17% of retail workers surveyed have a regular schedule
- About 34% of relied on public assistance
- Over half earn less than $10/hour
- More than 70% don’t get health insurance from their jobs
- 77% of Latina retail workers made under $10/hour
Ending these unjust employment practices requires law and policy change, but as consumers we can take positive actions to achieve economic justice.
How to Be a Conscientious Retailer Shopper
The Center for Frontline Retail, a Ms. Foundation grantee, founded the Shoppers’ Alliance to help shoppers act in solidarity with retail workers as they shop. We reached out to them for the following simple tips on becoming a more conscientious shopper.
- Take time out from shopping to tell a manager you support workers on the sales floor.
- Research news articles on retail stores and share the information with your networks.
- Sign retail worker petitions on www.coworker.org
- Email retail corporate offices and your elected officials to let them know you support stability and fair treatment of frontline sales and support associates.
- Follow the Center for Frontline Retail on Facebook for information on joining the Shopper’s Alliance and achieving economic justice in retail.
Together we can make a difference!