Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Part 1/5)

Align:start temp labor in a way isn’t looked at as an industry but it’s a sector in it’s an industry and the industry is dealing in moving human beings so instead of moving Tomatoes I move human beings around [Music] we live in a time when at the click of a mouse goods from around the globe can arrive conveniently at our doorstep mega retailers like Walmart and Amazon have created a seamless and efficient system to get our goods to us quickly Amazon is a great example of what’s possible last year during the busiest day of the Christmas rush customers around the world ordered more than 300 items from Amazon every second and a lot of those traveled through this building what’s not seeing are the people who actually make this possible kept out of the public eye our temp workers employed without benefits or securities they play an integral role in keeping costs down and profits high many of these workers stay silent for fear of retribution often having their livelihoods put in jeopardy if they speak out they wrote oh boy they’re wanting to know more about this integral yet invisible workforce we traveled across the country scouring warehouses temp agencies and temp towns in search of the people who make our world of same-day delivery possible over 70% of our consumer goods come into the u.s.

From overseas unloaded at mega ports like the Los Angeles Long Beach maritime terminal cargo ships carrying up to 12 thousand containers dock here every day and the goods they carry are unloaded and brought to warehouses to be unpacked and sorted for the West Coast an area an hour east of Los Angeles known as the Inland Empire which was once filled with horse ranches and citrus groves is now warehouse Central we’re out in front of Schneider logistics which exclusively serves Walmart they have over two million square feet of warehouse space here in the Inland Empire and it actually spans three different cities the Inland Empire has the largest concentration of warehouses in the world and they serve other retailers too like GE Nestle Home Depot and Kmart to name a few as retailers increase their online sales it’s at places like these that the essential tasks of sorting labeling and loading the stuff we buy happens online sales are growing at a dizzying pace as consumers increasingly look to the web to make purchases in the big retails for instance we will probably see a lot of the behind-the-scenes workers actually being temps and the conditions in these warehouses can be deplorable because we as American consumers now myself included expect our goods to be shipped to us just like that so what is it like working at a warehouse what are the challenges temp workers face so we’re meeting Xavier here and we’re gonna hear from him what it was like working inside one of those massive warehouses Javier’s job was to unpack and repack containers at a warehouse where goods were often moved within the span of a few hours what were you doing when you were at the warehouse nosotros cuando lleguemos nos a sigma bond on trial n específico y des des a trailer que nosotros tenemos que descargar lo a mano y tenemos que de poner lone diferentes trailers che ran diferentes u da days destinos and we’re there any grievances that you had working in those conditions ah bien ocasion SK personas aquella que lastima Baba’s son maar movimiento bueno Marita Elmo t / que no se trabajando spor que ellos me SPD Aaron entonces m-pesa ser UN Blanco por medio’ de mi simply adores poor Elmo tuve que yo siempre al-sabah la voz para offender pues mess Konami salud pero también la a Mis compañeros Javier’s problems with accountability and safety are common for warehouse workers and as the sector of employment expands more and more people are subject to this kind of treatment since the recession temporary employment has increased has added more jobs than any other industry in the United States the earliest leader of the temporary help industry was Elmer winter who founded and was the CEO of manpower incorporated manpower is the largest temp industry from its founding in the late 40s through the 1990s in the early years of the temporary help industry they very much played on this idea that temp work was women’s work in the public arena all of the images that they sold of temporary employment was of these kind of white middle-class very feminine women one of the big things that changed I kind of set the context for these cultural ideological changes was really the rise in global competition basically employers had a choice about how to respond and one of those responses could have been to invest in workers and instead they took what policymakers called the low road and D invested in workers cut permanent employees and temped out jobs temps are increasingly part of a profitable business strategy of corporate giants last year wal-mart the world’s largest retailer had its best shopping season yet an Amazon continues to expand its warehouses and fulfillment centers even President Obama has gotten on board because this type of labor is impossible to outsource Amazon is a great example of what’s possible last year during the busiest day of the Christmas rush customers around the world ordered more than 300 items from Amazon every second and a lot of those traveled through this building what Obama doesn’t mention in his speech is how many of these industries are using template to get back on their feet in some distribution warehouses temps outnumber direct hires so in general the relationship between clients company or the worksite company a staffing agency and attempt scholars have called this a triangular employment relationship so unlike the normal employment relationship which just has two entities a worker and an employer this has three entities it’s supposed to be clear who is responsible who is liable for the workers but in reality it’s not always clear once we learn that staffing agencies are is important to the logistical system as warehouses we started to see them everywhere we follow the railroad tracks to Chicago the heart of the country supply chain we’re yet another intermediary has arisen van drivers called right arrows who do the dirty work temp agencies won’t yeah there’s one right there it looks like it’s like maybe eight ten potentially more people in there [Music]

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