Our new report, “The Age of Contingent Employment: How changes in employment relationships are impacting worker wages, power and prospects”, highlights the explosive growth of the use of temporary staffing agencies to supply workers and how that harms our economy. Meanwhile, a heart-wrenching piece on the Huffington Post today shows just how devastating temp work can be for workers (and their families) who have no other options but to accept temp jobs.
The article tells the story of Jeff Lockhart Jr, a Virginia man who got a job at the new Amazon fulfillment warehouse outside of Richmond after a long period of unemployment and died on the job a couple months later. Although he worked at the Amazon facility, he and most of his colleagues were temp workers hired, supervised, and paid by a temporary staffing company. The article also explains why the use of temps by large companies is on the rise.
When it comes to low-wage positions, companies like Amazon are now able to precisely calibrate the size of its workforce to meet consumer demand, week by week or even day by day. Amazon, for instance, says it has 90,000 full-time U.S. employees at its fulfillment and sorting centers—but it plans to bring on an estimated 100,000 seasonal workers to help handle this year’s peak. Many of these seasonal hires come through Integrity Staffing Solutions, a Delaware-based temp firm. The company’s website recently listed 22 corporate offices throughout the country, 15 of which were recruiting offices for Amazon fulfillment centers, including the one in Chester.
This system isn’t unique to Amazon—it pervades the U.S. retail supply chain. Read more