Like nearly everyone else in Joliet without good job prospects, Uylonda Dickerson eventually found herself at the warehouses looking for work.
"I just needed a job," the 38-year-old single mother says.Dickerson came to the right place. Over the past decade and a half, Joliet and its Will County environs southwest of Chicago have grown into one of the world's largest inland ports, a major hub for dry goods destined for retail stores throughout the Midwest and beyond. With all the new distribution centers have come thousands of jobs at "logistics"companies -- firms that specialize in moving goods for retailers and manufacturers. Many of these jobs are filled by Joliet's African Americans, like Dickerson, and immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America.
But many bottom-rung workers like Dickerson don't work for the big corporations whose products are in the warehouses, or even the logistics companies that run them. They go to work for labor agencies that supply workers like Dickerson. Last year, she found work as a temp through one of the myriad staffing agencies that serve big-box retailers and their contractors.
Thanks largely to the warehousing boom, Will County has developed one of the highest concentrations of temp agencies in the Midwest.
Read the rest at The Huffington Post
Temp work is an accelerating trend in the US.
"All of these companies, wherever they possibly can, they want to create a workforce that doesn't work for them. The question is, Why? What is the incentive?""They're smart," [Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of American labor history at the University of California, Santa Barbara] ...says. "They run the numbers."Right, but what about true cost figuring externalities? More privatize the gains and socialize the losses?