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A few months ago I started working a retail job. It is unionized, but one must have 250 hours before joining the union. In the interview I was told that shifts are given out based on seniority. My training took place at the same time as another coworker, call her Jane.

To put it bluntly I've been getting very crappy shifts and some weeks I go without any work. I recently touched based with Jane. She already has her 250 hours and has a restricted schedule. I'm fully available and at about 100 hours. I have spoke with other coworkers (and managers at different stores) and they said this seems strange, that I haven't been getting more work. Today, one of the managers at the store I work at reiterated people with similar seniority should be getting similar opportunities for work. I've asked why I haven't been getting more work and management just says it isn't available.

I had worked for the same chain seasonally at different locations and had different expectation regarding scheduling. For example I think it goes without saying it's not very nice to work a night shift followed by a morning. There is one manager at my store that I particularly trust (for example she said she noticed I haven't been getting enough hours and tried to get me more). I am thinking of emailing this manager

Hi,

It is my understanding that shifts are given out based on seniority. I am curious how come Jane has 250 hours and I only have 100? Since we were hired at the same time shouldn't this be closer? Did something happen or are there any problems I'm unaware of?

Joe

I am considering switching to other stores because of this. However I would probably need a reference from the previous manager and could see this being an awkward situation.

My question is, how do I get a better schedule, or at least find out why mine is this way? This seems to be inconsistent no what we had agreed upon.

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Whatever you do, do not pull out a specific reference, Jane or John or whoever else. Mention about the problem, and ask for a solution. Re-word the email as:

Hi,

It is my understanding that shifts are given out based on seniority. Based on my understanding, by this time I should have completed 250 hours, however I only have 100. I could notice that this is due to lack of proper shift assignment - I'm expecting more hours to be assigned, so that I can complete the 250 hour quota sooner than later and can have more regular shift timings. Please let me know if anything is missing, or there's any issue on the shift assignment, we can work through them.

Thanks for your support!

Joe

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  • Why not use specific references? Otherwise management may just say I'm mistaking and it normally takes this long.
    – Hedgehound
    Dec 17 '20 at 9:22
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    Two things, (1) if that's a false statement and they are saying this in writing, they can be in trouble, (2) if they have some reasons for that behavior, you can then always pull reference of "market-standard". One-to-one comparison is almost always frowned-upon. Dec 17 '20 at 9:59

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