Yesterday's rainy weather didn't stop advocates who took to the streets to call for safe and fair workplace conditions for temporary workers. Organized by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) and the Chicago Workers' Collaborative, a delegation of workplace safety activists, including members of APHA's Occupational Health and Safety Section, paid a surprise "trick or treat" visit to Elite Staffing Inc., one of Chicago's leading temporary staffing agencies.
During the rally, activists delivered a letter calling on the staffing agency to provide safety training to temp workers as well as pledge to not retaliate against workers who speak out on dangerous workplace conditions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 800 contract workers died on the job in 2014, representing 17 percent of all workplace fatalities. And in fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers worker safety to be a joint responsibility between host employers and staffing agencies.
“Temporary work can be extremely hazardous, especially when workers are assigned to unfamiliar tasks on equipment they may never have seen before,” said Jessica Martinez, acting executive director of National COSH. “As one of the leading companies in the temporary labor industry, Elite Staffing is in a position to raise standards for all workers.”
To learn more about the emerging temp economy and the dangers that temp workers face on the job, check out this amazing investigative series from ProPublica. And join National COSH to #DemandTempSafety.
Above photos from top to bottom: Temp worker Greg Mann joins the rally to call for safer conditions for the temporary workforce; Tim Bell of the Chicago Workers' Collaborative delivers a letter to Elite Staffing Inc.; and activists #DemandTempSafety! All photos courtesy Roger Kerson