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Temp Agencies and ‘Raiteros’ in Immigrant Chicago

[I]n Chicago’s Little Village, the largest Mexican community in the Midwest, the raiteros have melded with temp agencies and their corporate clients in a way that might be unparalleled anywhere in America — and could violate Illinois’ wage laws.

[pullquote]Read the full story by Michael GrabellProPublica[/pullquote]

Raiteros tell temp workers to show up early to secure work for the day, leading to long, unpaid waiting times. They also charge temp workers for transportation to and from job sites, even if the worker has his own means to get to work. A temp worker in Illinois who works 40 hours each week at a warehouse, plus waits an additional hour and a half each morning would earn $422.81 a week. But that’s not the case.


The raiteros don’t just transport workers. They also recruit them, decide who works and who doesn’t, and distribute paychecks.

And it’s the low-wage workers — not the temp agencies or their clients, corporate giants like Ty — who bear the cost. Officially, the raiteros’ fee, usually $8 a day, is for transportation. But, workers say, anyone who doesn’t pay doesn’t get work.

[pullquote]See it here in slides.[/pullquote]

From this crowded barrio, raiteros ferry as many as 1,000 workers a day to warehouses and factories in Chicago and its suburbs. Many of these workers end up making about $6 an hour, well below Illinois’ minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, because of the fees and unpaid waiting time.

READ the FULL STORY at Taken for a Ride: Temp Agencies and ‘Raiteros’ in Immigrant Chicago – ProPublica. or Read in Spanish here.

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