Workers from Stellantis rallied with UAW leaders and local city officials yesterday at Manz Field in Detroit to demand the end of the exploitive supplemental employee system utilized at the automaker.
UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock, Vice President Rich Boyer, and Region 1 Director LaShawn English attended the event to offer their solidarity and support to those in attendance.
The event was emceed by Local 7 Recording Secretary Lynda Jackson. Detroit’s elected leaders also stood strong with Supplemental workers. Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield, District 4 City Council Member Latisha Johnson and At-Large Council Member Mary Waters all came out in support.
Supplemental employees, commonly referred to as temporary workers, usually aren’t temporary at all. Often, they work for the Big Three for years on end making inferior wages and benefits than their permanent coworkers. They are commonly subject to more erratic work schedules than permanent employees as well.
Tenisha Hodges, who works at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) as a temporary employee, says she was only scheduled to work three days this week and none the week prior.
When JNAP went down for retooling in April 2022, Human Resources told Hodges she’d have to go work at the company’s complex in Toledo, OH, for two to four weeks if she wanted to keep her job. She ended up being forced to work there until August. January 6, 2024, will mark her third year working for Stellantis as a “temporary worker” with no job security of any kind. She still hasn’t been made a permanent employee at the company.
Supplemental workers at Stellantis hire in at $15.78 per hour. Because of the low wages and uncertain hours, many temporary workers hold one or two additional jobs outside of Stellantis.
“Many workers like me are jumping from paycheck to paycheck,” said Mubarak Mozeb, who works at JNAP. “A lot of us are jumping from job to job. Imagine working 10 hours at a factory, heading downtown to bus tables until one o’clock in the morning, then having to decide if it’s worth going to sleep, because you’re going to get up in three hours for the next shift.”
“We are fighting to end the abuse of so-called ‘temps’ who are exploited at low wages for years at a time and denied the full benefits and wages despite working endless hours to keep these companies going,” UAW President Shawn Fain said on a recent Facebook Live. “Temporary workers should be converted to full-time after 90 days with full pay, benefits, and profit-sharing.”