Blacks sue temp agencies in Chicago

According to the Chicago Tribune:

A group of African-American men filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago federal court alleging systematic discrimination by a temporary staffing agency and several of its clients they say passed over black applicants in favor of Hispanic workers…

The alleged discrimination took place at MVP Staffing’s Cicero branch office, which the lawsuit claims was directed by clients not to send African-American workers to their companies for assignments.

Those wishes allegedly were communicated using code words, according to testimony from former dispatchers and on-site representatives given in prior cases and attached to the filing as evidence. For example, according to the lawsuit, “guapos,” which translates to pretty boys, would be used to refer to African-Americans to suggest they don’t want to do dirty work. The terms “feos” (translated to mean “dirty ones”),” “bilingues” (bilinguals) and “los que escuchan La Ley” (referring to people who listen to Spanish-language radio station La Ley) were used to refer to Hispanic laborers, the lawsuit alleges…

An immigrant-dominated workforce, with language barriers and legal status concerns, is less likely to complain about failure to pay overtime, workplace injuries, wage theft or overwork, according to Williams. He described dozens of white vans that pick people up in the Little Village neighborhood, populated mostly by Mexican immigrants, and drive them to the suburbs for jobs, while black applicants will show up early at the agency office and wait all day before being told there’s no work.

“They get up early, they make their way there, they get there on the promise that there might be work for them,” Williams said. “And they watch as it changes from a very mixed room in the morning to mostly African-Americans left in the afternoon.”

Let’s look at one plaintiff, who’s highlighted in the article:

Norman Green, one of the five plaintiffs, said he has felt the discrimination at MVP and other staffing agencies in Chicago.

He described arriving at the agency early, around 4 or 5 a.m., with his steel-toe boots on and ready to work, signing his name at the top of a check-in paper. He said he would sit for hours and wait while Hispanics would arrive and be sent out to work sites right away. But the agencies would tell him to come back, he said, so he would borrow from money from friends and family to make the trip and get there early only to sit and wait again.

“A lot of black people just sitting there mad that they can’t work,” said Green, 33, who lives in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. When he has gotten jobs he feels everyone is talking about him in Spanish, and “it’s just uncomfortable.”

Green said the pattern, based on the perception that blacks don’t want to work, is “clear-as-day racist” and unfairly applied to him even though “every time I walk into a temp agency I work my butt off.”

Green, who has eight kids, seven of whom live with him, said he lost faith in the temp industry and instead supports his family doing construction and other manual work for family members.

Compared to Hispanics, blacks don’t have a reputation for being good workers. Affirmative Action policies, and so-called “civil rights groups” have made matters even worse by making businesses afraid to fire lazy black workers. Obviously, there are hard-working blacks, and they sometimes suffer because of this stigma.

The article explains that a major reason for high black unemployment in Chicago is the high crime rate. In other words, many blacks have criminal records that make it difficult for them to find jobs. We’re not told whether Green is an ex-convict, but the fact that he has 8 kids shows a certain lack of responsibility. Who’s paying for those kids? It’s unlikely that Green makes enough through his odd jobs to support them.

It would be interesting to know how many of these black plaintiffs voted for Hillary. We’re told:

The lawsuit comes during a heightened debate over immigrant labor as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office with promises of restoring American jobs.

Green goes on to opine that there are enough jobs for everybody. I contacted the reporter asking her about the voting question, and this was her reply:

Thanks for your note. I didn’t ask them who they voted for though you’re right that a lot of people might ask that question. But I don’t think that a vote for Mrs. Clinton would have been shooting themselves in the foot or that a vote from Trump will lead to a positive outcome. This isn’t about illegal immigrants taking jobs from black people. It’s about companies (allegedly) discriminating against black applicants because they prefer to employ immigrants they can keep under their thumbs to depress wages and working conditions. There are more temp jobs available than there are Hispanics to do them, but still the companies refuse to hire blacks. What I hope the article doesn’t do is divide people or drive resentment, because I think advocates are working to bring the two groups together so that they can be unified in demanding better working conditions. Because when one group is exploited it hurts native-born workers, too.

Thanks again for reading,


Perhaps there are enough jobs to go around, and these companies still refuse to fill them with black applicants. It would be interesting to study this question more fully. But one thing is certain: If there were no illegal immigrants, then those companies would not have the option of favoring them to the detriment of blacks.





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5 Responses to Blacks sue temp agencies in Chicago

  1. Pingback: Outliers (#35) « Amerika

  2. Jim says:

    Clearly manual laborers and other unskilled workers have been hard hit by immigration particularly the illegal immigration from Mexico. Lower class blacks have been put at a great disadvantage. When my parents were alive and living in retirement their yard was mowed by black workers who worked for a black owned lawn maintenance service. Now that I’m retired all this work is done by Hispanics.

  3. IA says:

    For over fifty years USA whites have moved heaven and earth to close the many “gaps” in education, jobs, housing, etc., spending untold billions. The smarter blacks could use affirmative action to get government and public utility jobs and larger corporations can pass the added cost on to consumers. But small businesses have a tougher time. They lack the margins necessary and can’t pass added expenses onto customers.

    The reporter doesn’t seem to understand basic business concepts like profit/loss and losing one’s business because you can’t make a profit.

  4. JD says:

    “This isn’t about illegal immigrants taking jobs from black people. It’s about companies (allegedly) discriminating against black applicants because they prefer to employ immigrants they can keep under their thumbs to depress wages and working conditions. …Because when one group is exploited it hurts native-born workers, too” – WTF??? “It’s not about what Trump said, and to clarify let me repeat what Trump says”. I guess these reporters really think only people who don’t like brown people voted for Trump.

  5. DD says:

    Happy Chanukah & Happy New Year JewAmongYou.

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