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Work Samples

Staffing agencies’ plans denied by Joliet City Council

The city of Joliet is not looking to add additional staffing agencies in city limits.

In a pair of 6-1 votes, the Joliet City Council decided this week to deny to two requests for special use permits to allow for operations of this type. Councilman Pat Mudron cast the lone dissenting vote.

Special use permits were requested for two sites, one for a vacant commercial tenant space off of Larkin Avenue, another for an existing tenant space off of Collins Street.

Several residents took time to voice their views as its regards the city and its interests in considering the special use permit requests.

Ann Baskerville, a conservation organizer for Sierra Club Illinois, urged the city to vote no.

“I would want to know more details about what level of benefits are provided,” she said, noting the devil is in the details.

The city typically requires staffing agencies to request a special use permit to help address concerns for land use issues such as loitering, parking and noise.

“I emphasize that none of those of those issues have been raised as a concern as it relates to frankly, either one of the staffing agency applications,” said John D’Attomo, an attorney representing Innovated Staffing.

The Joliet City Council postponed the matter last month at the request of Councilman Terry Morris. At the time, he sought additional information on staffing agencies and job quality.

Several council members at this week’s meeting questioned the staffing agency on its efforts to place residents in full-time positions.

Jazmin Ramirez of Innovated Staffing said she currently has more than 60 employees on long-term assignment, which includes health benefits if they opt in.

Baskerville said she views the matter as an exploitation of workers.

“To me, if these companies were held to higher standards of hiring directly, providing good benefits and pensions, wouldn’t that entice some people to bring some manufacturing back to the United States,” she said. “I believe we can do better.”

Baskerville said she hopes the bar is raised for the type of jobs brought into Joliet moving forward.

“For the past several decades, American politicians of both parties have done the bidding of powerful companies seeking to cross borders to exploit the lowest environmental and labor standards, offshoring good jobs in the process, and leaving hubs—like Will County—with over-stressed infrastructure, increasing diesel pollutions, and scores of staffing agencies,” she said.

The city already has several staffing agencies operating in corporate limits.

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