Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Part 1/5)

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Temp labor is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Increasingly, temp workers are part of a business strategy to keep costs down and profits high. From mega-retailers to mom-and-pop shops, temps are hired to do some of the hardest and most dangerous jobs. While more and more of the American workforce is comprised of temporary workers, they’re largely hidden from public view. Many of these workers stay silent, often having their livelihoods threatened if they speak out. Wanting to get a glimpse of this invisible workforce, VICE News traveled across the country, scouring warehouses, temp agencies, and temp towns in search of the people, who make our world of same day delivery possible.

For more from VICE News on the plight of temp labor in the US, read “A Modern Day Harvest of Shame” here:

This story was developed in collaboration with reporting by Propublica —

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33 thoughts on “Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Part 1/5)

  1. My cousin was working temp at a factory. One day his boss took him aside and told him what a great job he was doing. Later that same day he was fired. It was because they would have had to hire him for a permanent job at a higher wage if he worked there any longer…

  2. Temp agencies are illegal alien magnets ! They should be raided by ICE because they abuse and exploit those workers as well as Americans who need jobs and are forced to use those temp agencies !!!!

  3. I worked for several temp agency’s back in my day. The pay is trash. I would talk to people that have working there for 5+ years. however In my time working with the temp I became more aware of the flow of money. Like you guys are talking about. There was this one factory I worked at that makes boxes. Like the box your tv or Cologne comes in lol. From my experience it’s not something anyone should want to do long term, but we have to understand some people just trying to live. I’m back at a temp job but don’t plan on staying there long. #themoneyisoutthere

  4. temp agencies are now just HR departments for large companies. they are gatekeepers for them, I remember my boss calling an agency for temp workers and he asked for young women candidates! I couldnt believe it. The agency complied.

    He would never have gotten away with it if it was the company HR dept.

  5. all i see here are uneducated unskilled people who do job lieteraly anyone could do – what the f… they expect this work to pay – i bet 3/4 of them were the "fun bunch" in school who had fun but didnt spend time learning – they fucked up their lives themselves – its only their fault.

  6. I didn't know Amazon used temp agencies, Amazon is ridiculous. No wonder I didn't get the job with purina in Edmond, Ok because I applied to them directly and not through temp agency!

  7. Avoid Agencies like cancer. Usually, on your first assignment they'll hook you with a long term / temp to perm assignment. Don't ever expect to get hired on. The client will likely let you go before the 5th month without warning. Afterwards your agency will only give you one day / one week assignments. Only accept offers if they're paying a living wage. Depending on experience, ask for 15-20 per hour. You'll need at least 1 month of employment to qualify for unemployment benefits

  8. Kind of answers the question of why half the packages the USPS receives from Amazon and other companies have massive damage. But yet we take the blame? I find it funny how Obama endorses Amazon but has never met none of the real workers, just the ones that are high ranking and get paid for the photo op… do they deliver no matter the conditions? Thought so.

  9. Unfairness at its finest a real Capitalist psycho system and according to Obama we should cheer them for fuc*ing poor poeple's health, life, and forcing them to work without any security social or financial…..
    In my eyes its called: MODERN SLAVERY!!!!

  10. I was a " temp" worker at a warehouse called DAMCO for 4 years. after two years became an account lead and still a temp. This warehouse only had about 20% "regular" employees and the rest " temps "

  11. I worked in a warehouse twice, the first warehouse I worked it was fuckn shiiiiiiiitttt, I hated it so much, like soooo dusty, like hard to breathe, it was shit, but then I said fuck this and left and now I have a dope fuckn job as a rock scaler, the second warehouse I worked in just randomly for like a couple days cause they needed help, it was a solid place, they kept one of their main doors open so there was actually good air flow and you could see outside and shit, lunch break we went outside to kick a ball around the boss was super dope as well, but yeah, most warehouses are the worst places to work in.

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