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Living wage

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
7:28pm
Thu Sep 18, 2014

Chicago Activists Press Alds. Cappleman, O'Connor To Support $15 Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

While working roughly 60 hours a week at two jobs, Ovadhwah McGee says he lives paycheck to paycheck and struggles to pay his bills each month.

McGee, a single father living in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood with his 13-year-old son, said he works as an in-home care worker and a certified nursing assistant, making an hourly wage of $12.35 and $13.50, respectively.

“I need to be able to put food on my table without having to go to food pantries. I need to be able to work one job so I can actually spend time with my son,” he said, adding that he can’t afford to get his car fixed and thus spends two hours on public transit every day to get to and from work.

“I’m here fighting for a $15 minimum wage in the city of Chicago because I need it, because my son needs it and because working families across the city need it,” McGee said.

McGee and roughly two-dozen protesters, members of the Raise Chicago coalition, rallied to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour Thursday morning. The ralliers called on two Chicago aldermen — Alds. Patrick O’Connor (40th) and James Cappleman (46th) — to support their cause by protesting outside of their offices. The activists also demonstrated outside of a North Side McDonald’s restaurant.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Thu Sep 4, 2014

Chicagoland Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Wages; 31 Arrests Made (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers escalated their fight on Thursday for a $15 hourly wage and union rights by participating in acts of civil disobedience during a nationwide day of strikes. Progress Illinois was there for today's protests.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:28pm
Thu Aug 14, 2014

Duckworth Talks Paycheck Fairness, Gender Wage Gap At Suburban Panel Discussion

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) called attention to the gender wage gap and federal legislation designed to help close it at a panel discussion in Hanover Park Thursday morning. 

In Illinois, women make 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. On average, females in the Prairie State earn nearly $12,000 less than their male counterparts each year, Duckworth noted.

"Basically, we're shortchanging our families," the congresswoman said at the discussion with representatives from government agencies and non-profits. "That really affects not just the breadwinner, or the women herself, but her entire family" and the local economy "because people have less buying power." 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:36pm
Thu Aug 7, 2014

Chicago Activists Call On Ald. Burns To Support A $15 Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

Community activists protested outside Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) office Thursday morning, calling on the South Side alderman to support a $15 minimum wage in Chicago.

“We are tired of politicians, like Will Burns, ignoring the voice of the people,” said Adeline Bracey, a member of Action Now.

Bracey was one of roughly 50 protesters to march outside Burns’ Bronzeville neighborhood office, at 435 E. 35th St., chanting, “What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!” The state of Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25, while the federal minimum is $7.25.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:33pm
Thu Jul 31, 2014

Chicago Fast Food Workers Celebrate NLRB's McDonald's Ruling (VIDEO)

Chanting "Who's the boss? McDonald's!," a group of fast food workers rallied in Chicago on Thursday in response to this week's decision by the National Labor Relations Board's top lawyer, who found that McDonald's could be held liable as an employer in unfair labor practice complaints filed against their franchisees.

The decision issued Tuesday by the NLRB general counsel came in response to unfair labor practice charges brought against McDonald’s and its franchised restaurants in a number of cities, including Chicago, since November of 2012, when fast food workers in New York participated in the first strike against the fast food industry. Among other allegations, the complainants say McDonald's retaliated against workers for organizing.

Though the ruling is preliminary, McDonald's employee Nancy Salgado, who works in the city's Logan Square neighborhood, said fast food workers — who are fighting for $15 an hour and a union — are ecstatic about the decision. 

"All along, we know that corporate is the one in charge of McDonald's [franchised stores], in charge of the workers," Salgado said at Thursday's rally, held outside of the Rock N Roll McDonald's at 600 N. Clark St. "They're always trying to hide from us and say, 'We have nothing to do with (labor practices at the franchises) ... The owner deals with you."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:06pm
Tue Jul 29, 2014

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."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:21pm
Tue Jun 17, 2014

Report: Walmart Received $104 Million Taxpayer Subsidy For Executive Pay

recent report reveals that Walmart raked in taxpayer subsidies totaling $104 million for its executive pay over the past six years at the same time many of the retailer'slowest-paid workers have had to rely on public assistance to meet their basic needs.

Taxpayers subsidized the pay for top Walmart officials due to what critics say is a loophole that allows unlimited corporate tax write-offs on performance-based compensation for executives.

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