NLRB Finds McDonald's Liable For Actions Of Franchisees; Fast Food Movement Applauds

The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel decided Tuesday that McDonald's can be declared a "joint employer" with its franchise owners in unfair labor practice complaints filed by workers, a preliminary ruling that is a big win for the fast food giant's employees, who are fighting for $15 an hour and a union.

Today's decision by the NLRB's general counsel "shows that McDonald's can no longer hide behind franchisees for illegal treatment of workers," said Kendall Fells, organizing director for the Fast Food Forward workers campaign. "The federal government has found sufficient evidence to charge that McDonald's plays a key role in employment decisions at its stores ... It's clear to workers in these stores that the real boss is really McDonald's, and now, the NLRB general counsel has recognized that as well."

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Coalition To Revitalize Dyett High School Takes Center Stage At 4th Ward Meeting (VIDEO)

Supporters of keeping Bronzeville's Walter H. Dyett High School open beyond 2015 by turning it into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school came out in force to discuss the proposal at a rowdy 4th Ward community meeting Monday evening.

Local Ald. Will Burns (4th) held the meeting to gather community feedback about the future of Dyett, which the Chicago Board of Education voted to phaseout back in 2012 due to poor academic performance. Dyett is slated to close completely in 2015 after its last senior class graduates.

A community-driven blueprint to offer a global leadership and green technology curriculum at Dyett, along with other programs involving agricultural sciences and cultural awareness, dominated the discussion at the meeting, held at King College Prep High School. The academic plan, developed by community members and academics over several years, is backed by the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, a group spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO).

"Whatever happens at Dyett, it's got to be a high-quality, open-enrollment high school, and so the whole point is to have a process by which we get ideas for what that should be," Burns told Progress Illinois at the meeting, attended by more than 100 people. "I know that KOCO and the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett is very organized and very vocal, but there are other voices in the community, and I want to make sure that they have a way to be heard."

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Illinois Activist Groups Protest Rauner Fundraiser (VIDEO)

While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie headlined a fundraiser for Republican Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner Friday evening in the Loop, more than 100 protesters gathered outside the event to decry the pair's conservative stance on a myriad of social issues.

“Both of these politicians pose as moderates, but we’re here to call attention to the fact that both Bruce Rauner and Chris Christie have extreme positions on both the social, as well as the economic pocket book issues,” said William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois.

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Union Workers At Skokie Moving Company Strike Over Sluggish Contract Talks (VIDEO)

More than 60 workers at a moving and storage company in Skokie walked off the job Monday as part of an open-ended strike in protest of the firm's slow contract talks with their union.

Workers at Golan's Moving and Storage have been waiting for their first labor contract since winning union representation by Teamsters Local 705 in December. The union represents a core group of about 70 workers at Golan's, plus many temporary employees on 90-day work visas, said Teamsters Local 705 union representative Richard DeVries.

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Chicago Religious Leaders Hold Prayer Vigil To Highlight U.S. Incarceration Epidemic

“You don’t have to pray, believe in the same God or even a God to come to a prayer vigil,” Pastor Thomas R. Gaulke told a small group assembled in a meeting room at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in Bridgeport. 

Gaulke and the group were finalizing an agenda for a prayer vigil that some 60 people attended last night for the families and friends of loved ones who have been incarcerated. The vigil, which took place in an empty lot on 31st street near the 9th District Chicago police station and the Bridgeport Homes housing project, came together as part of a collaboration between faith leaders like Gaulke and community organizing groups, including Bridgeport Alliance, IIRON and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.

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