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Workers Teatro Tells Their Stories

Workers Teatro Tells Their Stories Heading link

Together with the UIC Center for Healthy Work, the Community Writing Project and Workers Teatro documented the stories of temp workers in the Chicago area. Workers shared their experiences of work, health, and well-being during COVID-19 in a digital and print magazine and through live and recorded performances.

Click Here to Read the Magazine

Worker’s Concerns & Questions about COVID-19 Heading link

Temp Cycle by Design Heading link

¡Cállate y apúrate! Heading link

As of 2018, there were about 200 Temporary Staffing firms with 1000+ branch offices registered with the Illinois Department of Labor, employing 1,456,200 people in the state. Heading link

  • 22 % of temp workers reported racial discrimination

  • 74 % experienced wage theft

  • 84 % experienced violations of health & safety rights

  • 47 % tried to improve working conditions and experienced retaliation

  • 80 % never had a temp job lead to a direct-hire position

  • 6 years was the average duration of work within the temp industry

Incredible to hear real stories from these courageous women.”

“The most compelling part…the importance and power of people being able to share their own stories for themselves.”

“I really love the idea that dramatic performances are more engaging and a wonderful educational method. So glad I was here tonight.


This project was a collaboration between Workers Teatro, the Community Writing Project, and the UIC Center for Healthy Work.

WORKERS TEATRO is a local independent Chicago group of working people that have self-selected to work with Theater Director & Activist, Jasmin Cardenas to explore their working experiences using theater and other artistic forms of expression for the purpose of liberation and change.

All stories created are based on real lived experiences of various members of the group. Our work is sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English, but always speaks to the human experience.  WORKERS TEATRO… Humanizing the Politics of Labor.

The Community Writing Project offers writing  workshops to members of poor, immigrant, and other marginalized communities in the Chicago area, and publishes writers’ stories in the magazine Real Conditions. We look forward to sharing the magazine, Voces de la experiencia, Voices of Experience magazine, which resulted from this collaboration, in the coming weeks.

1.  American Staffing Association

2.  NESRI report, Temporary Work, Permanent Abuse, 2017