Monday, September 29, 2014

Teamsters praise California Gov. Jerry Brown for signing temp worker-protection bill

California just took a step toward ending the abuse of temporary workers -- like those at Taylor Farms who want to become Teamsters.

On Sunday night, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will hold employers responsible when their subcontracted temp agencies endanger or underpay workers. 

California Teamsters, along with Taylor Farms workers, pushed hard for the bill.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said,
Today marks a new era for worker protection in California. No longer can employers hide behind unscrupulous labor contractors. Workers, no matter if they are temporary or permanent, can hold companies who profit from their labor accountable for violations in the workplace.
Dave Jamieson at the Huffington Post credited the Teamsters:
The Teamsters, in particular, lobbied hard for the new measure, largely through a public campaign against Taylor Farms, a food processor in Tracy, California, that supplies to companies like McDonald's, KFC and Subway. Most of Taylor Farms' laborers are temp workers, not direct employees...
The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will make it easier to punish companies like Taylor Farms and other warehousing and food processing companies that cut costs by hiring low-paid temp workers.
The law's passage marks a significant win for labor groups that are organizing workers in temp-heavy industries. As HuffPost reported in 2011, Southern California's Inland Empire is home to a sprawling retail distribution nexus, where staffing agencies provide warehouses with low-wage temp workers who frequently cite unsafe working conditions and wage theft. Worker advocates have been clamoring for larger companies to be held responsible alongside their subcontractors when the law is broken. 
 Way to go!