When a new boss cut her hours, Alejandra Mejia had to support her family of four on just $100 a week.
Alejandra has worked at McDonald’s since 2006, achieving her goal of becoming a manager two years ago. A single mother, she was working the morning shift so she could take care of her three kids after school, especially her son who's been diagnosed with ADHD.
Then new management came in and moved Alejandra to a different schedule. When she explained that she needed to be home by 4pm, they said “no problem” — and just cancelled her shifts. Paid $12 an hour, Alejandra was left with only eight hours of work a week.
They tell me there’s no work, it’s really slow – and yet they’re still hiring.
She was already on food stamps, and lives with her children in one bedroom of a house shared with five other adults. Working less than 20 hours a week, she no longer qualified for her daughter’s free child care program. And with a constantly-changing schedule, she couldn’t take a second job since she didn’t know when she would be free.
Alejandra begged for more hours at McDonald’s, but her bosses said there was no more work available — even as they continued to hire new people.
When Alejandra began telling her story to the media, McDonald’s management suddenly changed their tune. They gave her a piece of paper and asked her to write down when she could work. Now she’s making between $600 and $800 a month: not much, but enough to scrape by.
For Alejandra, Measure E is about making sure it doesn’t take a press conference to get enough hours of work. “All my coworkers only have part-time jobs,” she says. “This initiative will help us get the hours we need to take care of our families.”
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