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  • Dave DeSario

Good Jobs Gone Bad

First of its kind national organization is launched to empower growing number of workers in temped-out jobs

"A NEW DAY FOR TEMP WORKERS." Sophia Zaman (left of podium), Executive Board Member of Temp Worker Justice, celebrates the passage of the Responsible Job Creation Act in Illinois, the most extensive temp worker protections in the nation and a model for other states.

Washington, DC - While monthly jobs reports like tomorrows from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown growth, the nonprofit Temp Worker Justice (TWJ) officially launches on February 1 to address the major job quality problem that they ignore. Namely, “insourcing,” where jobs are not shipped overseas, but instead turned into subcontracted, insecure temporary positions right here at home.

Temp Worker Justice (TWJ) is providing new tools to empower temp workers to reverse the trend of temping-out America’s workplaces. It is the first national organization giving voice to temp agency workers and specifically focusing on their issues. Its national focus has been made possible by the organizing success of dozens of local efforts and a wave of nationwide, in-depth reporting in recent years.

Temp agency employment may be good for short term corporate profits, but systematically exposes working people to a wide range of abuses. It depresses wages, strips away benefits and workers’ rights, increases the risk of serious injury, and helps corporate employers evade compliance with employment laws and regulations. A new confidential workers survey at opens on February 1, providing a way for temporary workers to report anonymously on these issues and access support that previously has been difficult for them to obtain.

Taking the survey allows Temp Worker Justice to contact individual workers for direct follow up and consultation. Through a national network of TWJ partner organizations, workers may be connected with coworkers, local workers’ centers, unions, attorneys, or government agencies, depending on their needs.

In the coming months, the data collected from the TWJ worker survey will be used to produce policy recommendations and build a campaign for change, fulfilling the mission of educating temporary workers and communities. New guidelines are needed for the use of temporary workers in individual workplaces and throughout the economy. Currently only 3 states have legislation that significantly regulates the $150B/year temporary staffing industry, with Illinois leading the way.

“We fought alongside temp workers to pass the Responsible Job Creation Act in Illinois because we need more good jobs that strengthen communities, not temp jobs that permanently perpetuate poverty,” said Sophia Zaman, an Executive Board member of Temp Worker Justice and Executive Director of the Raise the Floor Alliance in Chicago. “The problems of insourced temp work are bigger than any one city or state. So wherever temp workers stand up for their rights and speak out, we will be there to support their efforts to build a fair economy for all.”

Temp Worker Justice (TWJ) is an independent national organization formed with temporary workers, leading organizers, researchers, and policymakers. TWJ is working with the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and their experienced staff to build power for working people in staffing jobs. For nearly 50 years, NELP has partnered with advocacy networks, working from the ground up to and built systematic change that improves the lives of working people.


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