This week, CEOs of America's booming retail industry are meeting at the National Retail Federation's (NRF) annual conference. The topic? "Conscious capitalism". While retailers made record profits this holiday season, the NRF retailers are also trying to get out of having provide health insurance to their frontline employees. The National Retail Federation (NRF) boasts that retail supports 1 in 4 American jobs. Retail does mean jobs in our economy - but as the largest low-wage employers who don't offer benefits to the majority of their employees - are these the kinds of jobs that can support an American family?
According to a new report based on hundreds of surveys of retail workers: “Discounted Jobs: How Retailers Sell Workers Short” just released at the annual NRF convention by the Retail Action Project, 70% don’t get health insurance from their job.
The Federation’s ongoing campaign “Retail Means Jobs” has prioritized blocking the “employer responsibility” requirement scheduled to go into effect in 2014 under health care reform. This provision of the Affordable Health Care Act would penalize employers that didn’t offer health benefits to employees working 30 or more hours per week. In order to create good jobs for American families, the National Retail Federation must drop their opposition to the employer responsibility provision, and prioritize creating full-time jobs with benefits.
Tell Matthew Shays, the president of the National Retail Federation, to show they value their front-line workers by offering adequate pay, benefits, and hours to the working people who make the industry grow.