Friday, September 12, 2014

[NJFAC] temporary work reaches an all-time high, despite more than 5 years of "recovery"

A recent report on temporary work by the National Employment Law Project finds:

The number of U.S. workers in temporary help jobs has reached an all-time
high. Fully 2.8 million Americans are currently employed in temporary
help services, which constitute the majority of staffing industry jobs.

The industry has shifted from largely clerical to largely industrial.
In 2013, production and material moving jobs made up 42 percent of the industry,
while office and administrative jobs made up just 21 percent.

Major corporations now use staffing as a permanent feature of their business
model. Seventy-seven percent of Fortune 500 firms now use third-party
logistics firms, who may then contract out to an army of smaller firms to
move their goods.

Staffing agencies often hire the most vulnerable. Latinos make up 16 percent
of employed workers, and African Americans, 11 percent, but each group
accounts for 20 percent of the staffing industry. Research shows that up to
40 percent of former welfare recipients who became employed after 1996
reform legislation obtained jobs in temporary help services.

Staffing work has serious impacts on workers' health. A 2010 analysis of
Washington State data found that workers employed by temporary
help agencies reported higher rates of injury than workers in standard
employment arrangements.

Staffing work means a pay cut for workers. The median worker in the staffing
industry earns $12.40 an hour, compared to an hourly wage of $15.84
earned by all private-sector workers, regardless of industry—a whopping
22 percent wage penalty.

The pressure to deliver more for less leads some staffing agencies to break the
law. In a recent Massachusetts case for unpaid overtime, the staffing
agency defendant claimed it was unable to pay overtime because of the
low rates paid to it by the host company.

Staffing workers are effectively excluded from the right to organize and
bargain with their employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Where working conditions and wages are poor, workers can normally
come together to negotiate with their employers and try to improve
them. This is not true for staffing agency workers. A 2004 National Labor
Relations Board decision requiring consent from the staffing agency and
host employer makes it next to impossible for staffing workers to take
advantage of their rights under the NLRA.

Despite these barriers, however, staffing workers are coming together
and developing new forms of organizing.....

Woman Working Four Part-Time Jobs Dies in Car While Trying to Nap

National Jobs for All Coalition

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