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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 Aaron Cynic
5:23pm
Wed Apr 15, 2015

A Look At The Morning Fight For 15 Protests In Chicago (VIDEO)

Workers fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize began a series of day-long rallies and speak-outs this morning in what organizers say will be the largest mobilization of low wage workers to date. Coordinated protests by the Fight for 15 movement and its allies are taking place in more than 200 cities in 30 countries with workers from multiple industries demanding a $15 an hour wage and better working conditions.

In Chicago, workers and their supporters rallied at numerous McDonald's locations across the city, beginning with an early morning demonstration that drew 200 at a South Side restaurant location at 8321 S. Ashland. The protests, led by fast food workers, have also drawn home care, child care and airport workers as well as college students, adjunct professors and Brink's armored car and armed security guards.

"I scrap and scrape and stress all day, every day," said Douglas Hunter, a 53-year-old maintenance worker at a McDonald's location on Chicago's West side. Hunter, who has a 16-year-old daughter, has participated in numerous strikes for more than a year. He said low wages contribute to the degradation of neighborhoods.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:13pm
Thu Apr 2, 2015

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call McDonald's Wage Increase A 'Slap In The Face' (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers and their allies from Action Now protested Thursday in response to McDonald's announcement that it will soon raise wages, but only for some employees.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:57pm
Tue Mar 31, 2015

Chicago's Fight For $15 Campaign To Expand Beyond Fast Food Workers (VIDEO)

Fast food workers with the Fight for $15 campaign are set to strike on April 15 in 200 U.S. cities, including Chicago, as part of a national day of action for higher wages and union recognition.

They will be joined on the picket lines by a growing number of low-wage workers and allies as the movement for better pay and working conditions continues to expand to industries beyond fast food. Chicago adjunct professors, college students, cab drivers, child care workers and leaders with the "Black Lives Matter" movement are among those who will be protesting with fast food employees on April 15, organizers said during a Tuesday news conference.

The April 15 strikes and protests across Chicago will culminate with a large rally near the University of Illinois at Chicago's student center in the late afternoon, workers said. 

April 15 will mark the eighth time Chicago fast food workers have walked off the job since 2012, when the fast food industry was first targeted by striking employees in New York City before the Fight for $15 campaign gained traction across the country. Those with the Fight for $15 movement have been pushing for union recognition and a $15 minimum wage, which is a yearly salary of about $31,000 -- enough to cover workers' basic needs, according to organizers.

"This thing is growing so fast," Chicago McDonald's worker Douglas Hunter said of the Fight for $15. "Two years ago, when this movement started out, all we wanted was $15 an hour and the right to form a union ... The Fight for $15 is grown up now. We're now a social justice movement."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:46am
Fri Mar 27, 2015

CTU Unveils New Contract Demands, Rallies With Allies For 'Education Justice' (VIDEO)

The Chicago Teachers Union is in contract talks with the Board of Ed and released its final set of demands Thursday. The union held a large rally Thursday evening, calling for "education justice" in Chicago — a running theme among the final 10 contract requests released by the group of educators. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:41pm
Thu Feb 19, 2015

Obama Designates Pullman District National Monument, Praises Emanuel Days Before Election

President Barack Obama was in Chicago Thursday to designate the Pullman factory district as a national monument. With a stroke of the president's pen, the Pullman Historic District is now a national monument, and the city's first national park. The new monument's boundaries are 103rd Street to the north, 115th Street to the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and the Norfolk & Western Rail Line to the east.

In his speech at the designation ceremony, which was attended by Gov. Bruce Rauner -- who has a reputation for being a union antagonist, Obama highlighted the importance of labor unions, saying "As Americans, we believe workers' rights are civil rights."

"Gradually our country would add protections that we now take for granted: a 40-hour workweek, the weekend, overtime pay, safe workplace conditions and the right to organize for higher wages and better opportunities," the president said. "So this site is at the heart of what would become America's labor movement -- and as a consequence, at the heart of what would become America's middle class."

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