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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 Ellyn Fortino
3:56pm
Tue Sep 29, 2015

O'Hare Workers Join Fight For $15; Fast Food Laborers Bring Wage Campaign To Chicago Suburbs

The local Fight for $15 movement continues to gain steam as an increasing number of Illinois low-wage workers join the call for better pay and the right to unionize without retaliation.

Initially spearheaded by fast food workers, the national Fight for $15 campaign has since picked up support from service employees from other industries. On Tuesday, the movement welcomed security officers, janitors and passenger service workers at O'Hare International Airport, who are joining the campaign due to their "poverty wages."

O'Hare workers rallied with their supporters outside the airport Tuesday morning to officially kick off their entrance into the Fight for $15 movement.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:07pm
Wed Sep 16, 2015

Unions Boost Weekly Earnings For Illinois Women By $122, Report Shows

Progress Illinois looks at the findings of a recent report exploring the "union advantage for women" in Illinois and nationwide. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:09pm
Tue Aug 25, 2015

What's The Status Of Women's Equality In Illinois?

Ahead of Women's Equality Day on Wednesday, a new study shows Illinois is the third most equal state for women. But don't get too cheery over the findings, independent experts say. 

WalletHub, the personal finance website, ranked all 50 U.S. states on gender equality in three areas: education, political empowerment and workplace environment. Illinois had the third best overall ranking, behind New York at No.2 and Hawaii at No. 1. Utah earned the worst ranking.

A leader with the Chicago-based advocacy group Women Employed was pleased to see Illinois come in third for women's equality. However, the ranking "doesn't mean things are primarily good for women in Illinois," stressed Women Employed's Associate Director Jenny Wittner.

"It just means that by certain measures (conditions are) better than other states," she said.

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:24pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Study: Illinois Union Membership Down 97,000 Workers Over Past Decade

Organized labor's power and effectiveness is still significant in Illinois despite unions having 97,000 fewer members in the state than a decade ago, local economic and labor experts argue in a new report.

"The labor movement's presence is still keenly felt in Illinois," said Frank Manzo with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, which jointly released the "State of the Unions 2015" report with researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. 

"Unions continue to increase incomes across the state and advance a strong, middle-class economy," he added.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:57pm
Mon Mar 23, 2015

Hundreds Protest For Living Wage, Union Rights At Chicago Food 4 Less Store (VIDEO)

Hundreds of Chicago minimum wage workers and their supporters descended upon a West Side Food 4 Less store Saturday morning, demanding that the grocer give its employees a higher wage and the right to form a union.

Food 4 Less is owned by Kroger. The activists allege that Food 4 Less workers in Chicago are provided less money and fewer benefits than unionized Kroger workers across the country.

"We're asking them to respect Chicago, because Food 4 Less is union in California, and other Kroger banners are union as well, but for some reason they don't care enough about workers here," said Kristin Ryan, an organizer with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 881.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Thu Dec 4, 2014

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call For $15 During National Day Of Strikes (VIDEO)

About 500 Chicago fast food workers and their supporters hit the city's downtown streets Thursday morning to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage and union recognition during a national day of strikes in 190 U.S. cities. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the Chicago protest.

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