New bill protects workers from big chain closures

starbucks strike
Photo credit Nataly Tavidian/KNX News 97.1 FM

LOS ANGELES (KNX) – A new bill introduced to the California senate would protect workers who are left displaced when corporate chains shut down.

The Displaced Worker Transfer Rights Act, authored by Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, would require large corporate chains – such as Starbucks, Chipotle and Trader Joe’s - to give employees 60 days advance notice of a store closure, as well as give employees the right to transfer to another location within 25 miles.

“When a business closes, that means complete hardship for our families and we know and particularly in this county, in my district what that means,” Cuevas said. “It means at risk of homeless. It means a difference of being able to pay your rent this month or being in your car and then if not having your car being on the street or worse where we know people are dying on our streets.”

Cuevas said a lot of corporate chains are shutting down after workers unionize, calling it “part of a pattern of union busting activity.”

Melissa, an Amazon warehouse employee, told KNX News she supports the bill.

“Amazon is trying to stop us,” she said. “They’ve brought in union busters who watch us work and they try to undermine our organizing different leaders when different departments have been targeted and retaliated against, they've been isolated and put to work alone.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nataly Tavidian/KNX News 97.1 FM