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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:01pm
Thu Oct 8, 2015

Barneys Employees In Chicago Push To Unionize, Receive Aldermanic Support (VIDEO)

Ahead of their union election on Saturday, workers seeking to unionize at the Barneys New York in Chicago saw support Thursday morning from three aldermen, who visited the luxury department store and urged management to "treat their employees with respect" and stop alleged anti-union "intimidation tactics."

Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and John Arena (45th) met briefly with the Barneys Chicago manager inside the store, 15 E. Oak St., to voice their concerns about the treatment of workers there.

"The flagship Barneys New York store in Manhattan has had a union for decades, and today the workers in Chicago of Barneys New York are asking for the same protections, for the same rights, as their counterparts in New York City. I think it's only fair. It's only right," Ramirez-Rosa told Progress Illinois outside Barneys.

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
9:38pm
Mon Aug 10, 2015

CAN TV Workers Set To Vote On Unionizing At Public Access TV Station

Chicago Access Network Television (CAN-TV) workers will continue their push for unionization, with Tuesday being a critical day in their drive for representation thanks to a scheduled National Labor Relations Board election.

CAN-TV employees are looking to unionize due to low wages, complaints about working conditions and hours, as well as "feeling disrespct[ed] and marginaliz[ed] by management," according to an announcement.

At a recent press conference and rally, CAN-TV executive director Barbara Popovic gave a statement on behalf of the cable public access television station.

"CAN-TV recognizes the rights of our employees to hold an election, and as an employer we will not take any action to interfere with those fundamental rights," Popovic said.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:35pm
Fri Aug 7, 2015

Urban Prep Faces Backlash Over Alleged Retaliatory Teacher Firings (VIDEO)

During a Friday morning protest, education and worker activists demanded that Urban Prep Academies "do the right thing" and reinstate the 16 teachers who claim they were fired in retaliation for joining a union.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:39pm
Wed Jul 22, 2015

U.S. House Budget Bill Seeks Deep Cuts To Education, Labor & Health Programs

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
2:25am
Thu Apr 16, 2015

On Tax Day, Thousands Join Fight For $15 Protest In Chicago (VIDEO)

More than 5,000 low-wage workers and their allies rallied at the University of Illinois at Chicago and protested throughout the city's downtown streets during a national day of strikes Wednesday afternoon – Tax Day – to call for a $15 minimum wage and union recognition. Progress Illinois was there for the action.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:26pm
Wed Oct 1, 2014

Report: U.S. Temp Work At Record High, More Protections Needed For Workers

The U.S. economy currently has a record number of "temporary help jobs," but many of them fall short in terms of safety and pay for workers, according to a new report on the growth of the staffing industry by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the National Staffing Workers Alliance (NSWA).

“The shift towards temp work is creating an economy in which working people who move and produce products for some of our nation’s largest and most profitable corporations are treated like any other input, to be acquired at the cheapest cost,” said the report's co-author Rebecca Smith, NELP's deputy director. “Staffing agencies not only fail to provide livable wages, benefits or job security for their workers, but their influence in an industry can lower standards for all workers in that industry.”

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."

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