new protections for temps are a step in the right direction for Massachusetts workers (“Patrick signs law to protect temporary workers,” Business, Aug. 7). The need for the bill reflects vast changes in employment since most protections for labor were adopted in the 1930s and ’40s. Today, far more needs to be done to protect workers in a 21st-century economy. Abuse of temporary help, part-time workers, and independent contractors causes serious problems. These workers are often denied access to benefits and protections, such as family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wage, and unemployment insurance.
With the decline in the number of workers enjoying the benefits of union contracts through collective bargaining, we are witnessing the steady erosion of all workers’ rights. We need new laws that will make it easier for workers to self-organize for mutual aid and protection, and revised regulations that broaden protections to cover all employees.
The writer is an organizer with SEIU Local 888.