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Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
3:45pm
Mon Feb 22, 2016

Candlelight Vigil Held For Several Hundred Jobs Lost & In Peril In Chicago

A warm atmosphere contrasted the cold weather as demonstrators gathered to chant, cheer, and shout in defiance of Mondelez International, one of the world's largest snack companies, Sunday evening.

At times it was difficult to hear the organizers speaking over the sounds of the crowd cheering and passing cars beeping on the corner of 73rd and Kedzie Ave., where a candlelight vigil was held directly across the street from the Nabisco factory, which is owned by Mondelez International.

Last year, Mondelez told employees that the company would be relocating much of the production work to Salinas, Mexico.

So far 227 employees have received layoff notices as a result of the company closing nine of the bakery's sixteen production lines. Additionally, Mondelez is contemplating the opening of four new lines in Mexico, which would result in a total loss of 600 jobs in Chicago.

Barbara Cimbalista, an employee of Mondelez International, says she was told by management that if they want to keep their jobs, they need to be able to compete with Mexico.

"I said, 'how do you expect us to compete with Mexico when they get $3 an hour, and we get $25 an hour,'" asked Cimbalista. "They said cut wages and benefits. I said 'no, I don't think so.'"

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:13pm
Thu Feb 4, 2016

CTU Members Rally For A Fair Contract, Against Proposed Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

The Chicago Teachers Union held a massive downtown rally Thursday evening, during which 16 people were arrested for protesting inside Bank of America. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:02pm
Mon Feb 1, 2016

Supporters Of Cook County 'Responsible Business Act' Protest At Walmart (VIDEO)

Activists pushing for the "Cook County Responsible Business Act" stepped up their campaign Monday morning by protesting in support of the proposal at a Walmart in Bedford Park.

About 50 members of IIRON, National People's Action and other grassroots groups briefly demonstrated inside the Walmart, at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. They held signs that read, "Poverty pay? No way! We need the RBA," and chanted call-and-response style, "What do we want? Fair wages! When do we want them? Now!"

Protesters carried a large poster of a fake $33 million invoice, symbolizing the cost of Walmart's "poverty wages" to Cook County taxpayers. Organizers claim local taxpayers are left with a $33 million tab each year to cover public benefits for employees at Walmart's 25 Cook County stores. The group's calculation is based on a May 2013 congressional report prepared by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which found that one 300-person Walmart Supercenter store in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers more than $900,000 annually in government assistance for its workers.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:07pm
Tue Nov 17, 2015

Walmart Workers Fasting For $15 As Part Of Black Friday Protests

Walmart workers have stepped up their Black Friday protests against the mega retailer with a 15-day fast for a $15 minimum wage and full-time schedules.

Over 1,400 Walmart workers and their allies are participating in the fast, organized by the recently relaunched OUR Walmart campaign. In the run-up to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, fasters are consuming a liquids-only diet for one to 15 days to draw attention to what they consider to be low wages and hours provided to Walmart workers.

The fast began last week and will culminate with Black Friday protests on November 27 at Walmart stores nationwide, including in Chicago and other Illinois cities.

"OUR Walmart's message to Walton heirs -- whose wealth has been greater than the bottom 42 percent of all American families combined -- is clear: while Walmart employees can barely put food on the table this Thanksgiving, Walmart continues to thrive as the largest supplier of groceries in the nation, while it lines the pockets of the Walton family with corporate greed," OUR Walmart said in statement. "Anything less than $15 and full-time is not enough for Walmart workers."

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