REAL and the fight for Temp Workers
On Tuesday, a few of us joined temp workers, MassCosh, and labor supporters at the State House to urge our representatives to get the Reform Employment Agency Law (HB1393) or the Temp Worker Right to Know out of Ways and Means.
The law strives to hold employment agencies, mostly temp agencies, accountable for their mistreatment and exploitation of temp workers in Massachusetts—usually bottom rung, immigrant, and/or workers of color. The Bill would require agencies inform temps of their wages, duration of work, and where they are working—information vital to those in pursuit of the American Dream. Right now, the bill is in legislative purgatory.
We joined Marcy, executive director at MassCOSH, community organizers, and some temp workers in meetings with legislative staff to share why the bill was important and why they should encourage its resurrection and passage. It was highly organized, with delegations all dispersing throughout the state house and meeting with their respective legislator’s staff.
The staff seemed receptive and polite, but that sort of public politics is much different than the demonstrations and energetic rallies I’m used to. It’s definitely a good skill to exercise though, visiting your representative to voice concerns. It definitely gives their constituency more of a face.
With more pressure and cooperation, we can end the injustice towards Massachusetts temp workers.