Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Plight And Abuse Of Temporary Workers In The Detroit 3

The Abuse Of Temporary Workers In The Detroit 3

The recent UAW contracts, and most especially the more recent 2007, 2011, and 2015 contracts have given rise to what were once called “flex workers”, and now called “temporary workers”. The abuses of the “temporary workers” are manifest and broad. Often likened to the treatment of slaves by horrible slave owners.

Who are these temporary employees. Well, largely they are young women and men some with families to feed, and even some single mothers trying to raise children on their own. As young parents they have the responsibilities of their young children, and we all know how young children get sick and schools or day care send them home so as to not infect the other children with illness. This means that either mom or dad need to be home with that sick child. Unfortunately, there are no contractual provisions for temporary Detroit three employees to attend to their ailing child at home, as required by the schools, day care and/or doctors.

Let us look at how this treatment disadvantages the temporary workers.

  1. First they are indeed temporary, not an employee with seniority, and as such are not afforded the full benefits of the U.A.W. collective bargaining agreement.
  2. The work schedule is inconsistent and may consist of 8 hours per week to 40 hours per week and in some instances include overtime after 40 hours.
  3. Their health care is very minimal, and does not cover some very basic needs such as eye-care and dental.
  4. Time off is not entitled, but rather begged for. [Imagine having to BEG for time off to care for your sick child.] Many temporaries have been know to have been fired for taking time off to have a baby!!! Very clearly immoral and unacceptable!
  5. Job assignments are also not consistent, nor are the temporaries entitled to any specific job, where might become physically adapted to the muscle groups required to perform a particular job consistently.
  6. The pay is considered “half wage” at approximately $15,40/ hour, with possible increases [if you are a good slave] to just above $19.00/hour depending on which company.
  7. When the July shutdown occurs in the first two weeks of the month, temporaries have to go without pay some or all of the shut down period.
  8. Treatment of temporaries are horrible, and management often threatens them with discharge if they do not exceed the standards of their peer employees with seniority. Yes… Slave like.
  9. Because there is no contractual pathway for temporaries to becoming seniority employees; some employees have been known to remain temporary for over eight (8) years. Yes, the ascension from temporary to seniority status is contractually determined by “mutual agreement of the parties” if they think you drank enough Kool-Aid, and not contractually guaranteed within a specified amount of time.
  10. While is has not yet manifested itself very much yet, upon reduction in force a temporary worker is not afforded the opportunity of being in the area hire, and transfer to another plant based upon seniority.
  11. Another disadvantage of temporary employees/members is that; as they have no contractual rights as a seniority employee they do not qualify for Supplemental Unemployment Benefits, more commonly called SUB pay. Sub pay guarantees 95% of ones take home pay while on layoff. This benefit was negotiated in the 1960’s as a protection for the youngest and thus most at risk of being unemployed. This wonderful benefit for the lower seniority employees/members, has unfortunately been virtually eliminated for those younger members most at risk of unemployment, by and through current contract language allowing for the long term abuse of temporary workers/members.


For all of the reasons outlined above it has long been the position of TEAM Workin 4 A Livin to: Abolish the current language in the Detroit 3 contracts regarding temporary workers, and to provide a contractual pathway to becoming a seniority employee that is NO LONGER than a period of one hundred and eighty (180) days. That will END the slave-like abuse of valuable human beings that happen to be working for the Detroit 3.

From TEAM Workin 4 A Livin – Caucus

For more information about other labor issues visit Workin 4 A Livin.

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Author: Leroy McKnight

From TEAM Workin 4 A Livin – Caucus

For more information about other labor issues visit Workin 4 A Livin.