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The Carrot and the Mule

The Assa Abloy Door Group let go of the 4 remaining temporary workers at the Curries Company Frame Plant in Mason City this Friday. It’s probably common knowledge that the construction industry can be notoriously seasonal work so the use of temporary workers is not inherently evil. Story by Carl Grover.|Story by Carl Grover

The Assa Abloy Door Group let go of the 4 remaining temporary workers at the Curries Company Frame Plant in Mason City this Friday. It’s probably common knowledge that the construction industry can be notoriously seasonal work so the use of temporary workers is not inherently evil.

The pros for any company that use temp services are that it offers flexibility without commitment. Often times, temp workers can supplement an already lean workforce. It’s also a cost savings measure in the way that temp workers are paid significantly less than a ‘permanent’ worker. And in this economy I use the term ‘permanent’ very loosely.

Another cost savings benefit for the company is that it offers no benefits such as insurance, holiday or vacation pay and in some cases, the position comes with absolutely no labor rights.

With advantages like these it should come as no surprise that the use of temp workers is on the rise all over the country. And not just in manufacturing but in many other industries as well.

Certainly there are some workers who find that temporary work suits their needs well. However, it’s probably safe to assume that there are many more who are hoping to use the opportunity as a stepping stone to land a permanent, stable job.

What’s shameful is when those really hard-working folks are lead to believe that there really is a chance they’ll get hired on when more often than not that simply isn’t the case. It’s kind of like the carrot and the mule.

Most people who are trying to earn an honest living strive for stability. However, the plight of many of today’s temp workers is an uncertain future in a struggling economy; bouncing from here to there, not only earning lower wages but having to shell out a good chunk of what they earn to the very temp agency that finds them the work.

With an increasing number of companies using the services of temp agencies it might be a good idea to question the motives and ethics behind it. When does the utilization of temp workers become exploitation? How long is ‘temporary’? Are we creating yet another sub-class of expendable workers to suppress wages and increase profits?

Are temporary jobs a dangerous new normal? And is that a good thing for a country that was ingrained with the thought that hard work can lead to a better way of life?

What effect could this have on the morale and confidence of America’s workforce? Finally, is this an industry in dire need of some oversight?
No one would suggest that temp work is the root of all evil but no matter how well intended the purpose may be there will always be those that try to take advantage of it.

Truth is; it really is sad when people try so hard to get their foot in the door only to have that door slammed shut.

Yeah I know, any job is better than no job; but you still have to feel bad for the poor mule.

How would you like to do all that work and then not even get the damn carrot?|

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