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Showing blog posts tagged with temporary workers

The Shameful U.S. Record on Temporary Worker Protections

Photo courtesy Melissa Gira Grant on Flickr

In the past decade, temporary work arrangements grew steadily in the United States—20% since 2003. In 2013, there were 2,673,800 workers employed in the temp industry, which accounted for 24% of all job growth in the United States during the tepid economic recovery from 2009 to 2012. Often these workers perform the same work as permanent employees for lower wages, little training, no benefits and no promise of security. Unfortunately, according to a recent ProPublica investigation, the United States lags far behind other industrialized countries in labor protections for temporary workers. Of 43 “developed and emerging economies” tracked by the OECD, the United States ranks near the bottom, at 41st, for temporary worker protections.

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What We're Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

What We're Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Highlights from the New Immigration Reform Bill

More than 11 million aspiring citizens will have the opportunity to access a road map to citizenship under the terms of a commonsense immigration reform bill that was introduced today.

While immigration reform advocates are still examining the legislation’s 844 pages, here are highlights that address some of the united labor movement’s key immigration principles, including moving forward on creating a road map to citizenship.

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The Trouble with Freelance and Temporary Work

The Trouble with Freelancing and Temporary Work

Since the economic downturn, it's been really tough to find a job. But there is a certain type of work that is becoming more and more readily available: temporary, freelance and contract jobs. 

Jezebel writer Laura Beck writes in We’ve Seen the Future, and You’re Freelancing:

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APALA’s Cendana: Temporary Workers Must Have Rights

Gregory Cendana, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), warns that the national debate around creating a commonsense immigration process “has largely ignored a disturbing trend in businesses: the modern-day indentured servitude of temporary workers.”

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Imagine 2050: Supporting Working Families with Immigration Reform

Imagine 2050 sends us the following story from its blog.

The AFL-CIO and the SEIU are standing up to Republicans and business groups for fair wages in federal immigration reform. While the group of bipartisan senators, called the “Gang of Eight,” working on the immigration bill say that the bill is 90% done, much contention remains around the "guest" worker provisions in the bill. [In fact, the so-called “guest” worker provisions in the bill are not “guest” worker provisions at all. The AFL-CIO has insisted that any new foreign workers be allowed a road map to citizenship and portability between employers so that they are not indentured to a single employer as a condition of remaining in the United States —as is the case under most existing temporary worker programs.]   

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Abuse of Temporary Workers Shows Need for Legal Protections

While the White House, Congress and outside groups debate the details of what the exact shape of the country's immigration system will be, an article from ABC-Univision details three shocking examples that make clear any legislation addressing the topic must include protections for temporary workers brought to the United States.

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Miami Herald Op-Ed: Landowners Want to 'Fix' Temporary Worker System They Helped Create

In an op-ed column in The Miami Herald, William and Mary professor Cindy Hahamovitch traces the history of landowners exploiting temporary agricultural workers in the United States for personal gain. These farm employers are currently calling for more temporary workers to be allowed into the country, and they want fewer regulations on those workers. Hahamovitch points out the irony of the landowners condemning the current system, which is one they helped create and has allowed them to exploit foreign-born workers for decades.

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New Reports Allege Widespread Human Rights Abuses in Temporary Worker Recruitment System

Photo courtesy of the Farm and Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC).

Like many people who come from other countries to work in the United States, Juan José Rosales left his homeland in Mexico to make a better life for himself, trading the prospect of a better financial situation for a temporary amount of time away from. He said a recruiter promised him he would get between $7 and $8 an hour while working in the fair and carnival industry on an H-2B visa. And that's when things went wrong.

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The Rise of 'Never-Never' Employment

How did we end up with all these low-wage, no-benefit temporary jobs in our economy?

Erin Hatton, of State University of New York at Buffalo, had a fascinating read in the New York Times this weekend, The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy, tracing the rise in America of the temp industry, and how it forged "new cultural consensus about work and workers." 

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