One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.
A co-investigation by NPR and ProPublica: Workers’ compensation benefits have been decimated over the last few decades, leaving severely injured workers vulnerable at a time when they need the most help.
An investigation into the underworld of labor brokers or “raiteros” in Chicago, who are used by some of the nation’s largest temp agencies and charge temp workers significant fees:
“The system provides just-in-time labor at the lowest possible cost to large companies — but also effectively pushes workers’ pay far below the minimum wage.
“Temp agencies use similar van networks in other labor markets. But in 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.
“The raiteros don’t just transport workers. They also recruit them, decide who works and who doesn’t, and distribute paychecks.”