A Home Base for Temp Worker Organizing

Source: Sonia Singh, Labor Notes, November 18, 2016

Warehouses and factories dot Chicago and its suburbs, concentrating hundreds of thousands of workers in a major hub for transporting goods. If these workers were united enough to strike, they would have huge leverage. But can they overcome a slew of obstacles to organize?

The jobs are low-wage and largely temporary. An estimated 63 percent of Chicago’s 150,000 warehouse workers are employed through temp agencies—where high turnover and multiple bosses are perennial hurdles.

Add to that a workforce—predominantly African American and Latino—that’s divided by race and language, and you begin to see what a steep climb lies ahead for the members of a worker center called the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative…..