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Martin Luther King Jr.
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:58pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Illinois Religious Leaders Call For Peaceful Resolution In State Employee Contract Negotiations (UPDATED)

On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois religious leaders urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature on Monday to resolve state employee contract negotiations in a "peaceful manner."

Monday marks 48 years since King was killed in Memphis, where he was supporting striking sanitation workers represented by AFSCME.

The Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side joined other faith leaders and state workers, represented by AFSCME Council 31 and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, during a Monday morning press conference organized by Arise Chicago.

"We come together today because Dr. King's message of what government should be continues to resonate. We want Illinois to be a place where no one is left behind," Jones said at the Chicago Temple building. "We want Illinois to be a place where service providers are not demonized but cherished for their sacrifices that they make and respected for the professional services that they provide. This is the kind of Illinois that we want."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:02am
Fri Jan 16, 2015

Hundreds March In Chicago To 'Reclaim' MLK's Message (VIDEO)

Hundreds marched and rallied in Chicago Thursday evening to "reclaim" the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a demonstration organized, in part, by middle schoolers. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the youth-led protest.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:47pm
Thu Jan 15, 2015

SEIU Local 1 Launches Janitorial Contract Campaign On MLK's Birthday (VIDEO)

Chicago janitors represented by SEIU* Local 1 took to the streets Thursday morning as they began gearing up for pending contract negotiations.

SEIU Local 1 leaders and dozens of Chicago custodians from institutional and commercial services kicked off their 2015 janitorial contract campaign on the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Their contracts are set to expire in April.

The unionized janitors, including many who clean Chicago Public Schools (CPS) buildings, rolled out their campaign calling for better wages and benefits outside of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, 4445 S. Drexel Boulevard.

"Of course, Martin Luther King, he stood for many things, but people fail to realize he died supporting the sanitation strike in Memphis, supporting sanitation workers who were being treated unfair," said Lonnell Saffold, director of institutional services for SEIU Local 1. "We believe that it's only right we be here to commemorate him and realize that his struggle is not going to die."

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:02pm
Mon Jan 20, 2014

Chicagoans Hold MLK Day Rally, Discuss Socioeconomic Issues & Legislation

    Thousands gathered Sunday at St. Michael the Archangel church on the city's South Side to celebrate and pay tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and also make a call for economic and racial equality. The two-hour-long rally saw dozens of speeches from community organizers, local politicians and others who tied Dr. King's legacy to today's struggles for economic justice.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:49pm
Fri Aug 23, 2013

Chicago Freedom Riders To Demand Jobs & Justice At Washington’s ‘Realize The Dream’ Rally

The more than 150 activists and Chicago public service workers who are set to take part in Saturday’s “Realize the Dream March And Rally” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington say their message will be the same as the thousands of people who rallied at the nation’s capital in 1963: jobs and justice.

“Fifty years ago it was unimaginable that the United States could have an African- American president. Today that unimaginable thought is a reality,” said Tonya Pugh-Rizer, an SEIU* Healthcare Illinois and Indiana member who boarded a bus to Washington Friday evening with other workers and activists, who are calling themselves the "Chicago Labor Freedom Riders." 

“But even with an African-American president who has worked hard to address issues that impact working people, we are still marching for jobs and justice,” she said.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:58pm
Fri Apr 5, 2013

Security Officers Rally For Higher Wages On First Day Of Contract Negotiations (VIDEO)

Carrying signs that read “Good Jobs, Safe Chicago” and chanting about higher wages, security officers represented by the SEIU* Local 1 rallied at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago Thursday for a pay increase. 

Thursday was the first day of bargaining with the Building and Owners Management Association (BOMA) for a new union contract. The rally, attended by approximately 70 union members, was also in observation of the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assasination.

“Dr. King lived his life, and lost his life, for a just society,” said Michelle Jackson, a security officer of seven years at 550 W. Jackson Blvd., in downtown Chicago.

“We need to do our part and start with working together to create better jobs for our families and our neighborhoods.”