SPRINGFIELD, IL – “Today, we showed that the power of the people can reform the pervasive systemic problem with temp agencies and their client companies. Today is a victory,” exclaimed Representative Carol Ammons of the 103rd District, the Chief Sponsor of the Responsible Job Creation Act. Just earlier today at 12:30PM, dozens of temp workers, allies, and experts successfully testified before the Labor & Commerce Committee in Springfield advocating for the passage of the Responsible Job Creation Act.
During the hearing, Isaura Martinez, a temp worker for over 6 years, testified on how dangerous and toxic the conditions are within these factories and warehouses. Between tears, she shared personal stories of retaliation, lack of safety training and equipment, discrimination, lack of opportunities to be hired on as permanent employees, and other issues that affect hundreds of thousands of temp workers across Illinois.
Temp jobs are increasingly replacing full-time, direct hire work. Studies show that 63% of warehouse workers and 24% of factory workers in Illinois are temps. Temp workers suffer higher rates of injuries and wage theft. HB 690 addresses these issues.
The bill’s original language has been amended after significant negotiations between temp worker advocates and representatives from the Staffing Services Association of Illinois. Although amended, the bill still carries the same weight for temp workers to significantly improve conditions for workers. The Responsible Job Creation Act has the potential to drastically change the way corporations view and treat workers by creating safer working conditions and offer permanent employment positions, to name a few.
“I just want to give an enormous thanks to all the representatives who voted in favor of HB690. Their vote today signals to all the temp workers in Illinois that they have support from the Capitol and justice is on its way,” remarked Rep. Ammons, “This is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Towards the end of the hearing, several legislators commented that the temp industry has been a huge problem in their own district and thanked the worker leaders for bringing this issue to light.
Now that HB690 has passed out committee, it will go before the House of Representative for a full vote in a few weeks. During that time, worker leaders and allies will be working to secure the votes needed to bring it to the Senate.
Please contact Joanna Arellano for photos and interview requests with workers or partners.
AFSCME Council 31, ARISE Chicago, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Grassroots Collaborative, Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Jobs With Justice, National Organization for Women - Illinois, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Latino Policy Forum, Latino Union of Chicago, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative, National Employment Law Project, Pilsen Alliance, Progress Center for Independent Living, Rainbow Push Coalition, Raise the Floor Alliance, Restaurant Opportunities Center – Chicago, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, SEIU Local 73, United African Organization, United Electrical Workers (UE), UFCW Local 881, Warehouse Workers for Justice, Women Employed, Worker Center for Racial Justice