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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:10pm
Wed Sep 7, 2016

O'Hare Contract Workers Allege 'Rampant Wage Theft' (UPDATED)

Contract workers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are allegedly facing "rampant wage theft," and they are calling on the city and state to investigate the issue.

O'Hare workers and SEIU* Local 1 officials discussed the wage theft allegations Wednesday morning and announced filings of wage theft complaints with the Illinois Labor Department and Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

The charges include 60 Chicago minimum wage ordinance violations and 20 Illinois Labor Department violations, according to the union. 

At issue are security officers, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and other workers who are employed by O'Hare contractors, including Universal Security, Prospect Airport Services, and Scrub, Inc. The union recently conducted a wage theft survey of about 300 contracted O'Hare workers, finding that they collectively lost $1 million in wages last year.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Wed Jun 22, 2016

Chicago City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Regulations On Sharing Services

From paid sick days to regulations on popular sharing services like Airbnb and Uber, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Wed May 18, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Propose Privatizing Airport Security; Debt Transparency Ordinance Passes

From airport security to debt transparency, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:22pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Chicago Housing, Police Accountability Advocates Picket Emanuel Fundraiser Over CHA Practices

Police accountability and housing activists are pushing back against city government as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to replenish his campaign coffers at his first fundraiser since the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.

The activists are picketing at Emanuel's pricey Monday night fundraiser, which costs individuals $5,400 while corporations are required to cough up $10,000. The event is being held at the home of real estate developer Robert Winslow.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on the mayor to make "substantive reforms" to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), including a complete overhaul of the agency's policies. While Emanuel tapped Eugene Jones Jr. to take over the housing agency in January, CHA critics say that is not enough.

The Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) has pushed back against CHA for its practices, blasting the agency for reportedly hoarding about 6,000 housing vouchers and 2,800 vacant units while more than 120,000 needy families sit idle on the agency's waitlist. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:37pm
Thu Apr 21, 2016

Sidestepping Major IPRA Upheaval, Emanuel Implements 'Almost A Third' Of Police Task Force Recommendations

After the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force released a scathing report last Wednesday on the department, saying officers have "no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color," Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the immediate implementation of about one-third of the group's outlined recommendations.

The new reform measures will focus on three goals: increasing transparency, creating trust between city residents and officers, and improving police accountability and oversight.

"As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform," Emanuel said in an announcement detailing the reforms. "Under the leadership of Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the police department will implement these reforms immediately while we continue to work together to find additional ways to restore the fabric of trust in communities across Chicago. As we look toward the future, our city will be better off because we faced up to these challenges and confronted them head on."

Some of the specific reforms include training CPD officers to "better understand cultural differences" and improving the department's Bureau of Internal Affairs as a means to address cover ups and ensure officer accountability for misconduct. Dispatchers with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and 911 call takers would also be trained "to improve their interactions and deliver the best service possible to the public," according to the mayor's office.  

The immediate changes coming to the Chicago Police Department do not include, however, two of the most sought-after reforms: the disbandment of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and a review of the police union contract.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Apr 13, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Confirm Top Cop, Push For Paid Sick Days

From police oversight to paid sick days, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

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