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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:26pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Internal Poll Shows Most Business Executives Back Minimum Wage Hike, Other Pro-Worker Measures

Most U.S. business executives support policies to boost the minimum wage and provide workers with paid sick time, predictive scheduling and increased maternity and paternity leave, an internal poll shows.

The poll findings, obtained by the progressive watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, clash with the policy positions of business groups fighting against such proposals.

Luntz Global, operated by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, conducted the poll of 1,000 U.S. business executives on behalf of the Council of State Chambers. Among those surveyed, 63 percent belong to a chamber of commerce.

According to the findings, 80 percent of survey respondents backed an increase in their state's minimum wage, compared to 8 percent who opposed the idea.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:53pm
Thu Mar 31, 2016

O'Hare Baggage Handlers, Security Officers Strike Over 'Unfair Labor Practices' (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Thursday's contract workers' strike at O'Hare International Airport, which included security officers, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, custodians and wheelchair attendants. The workers held a one-day strike against "unfair labor practices."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:20pm
Mon Mar 28, 2016

Expanding Middle-Skilled Jobs For Women Could Help Close Gender Pay Gap

Expanding women's access to middle-skilled jobs in growing sectors like manufacturing and information technology (IT) could help narrow the gender pay gap and improve economic security for families.

That's the key takeaway from a new study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).

Nationwide, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men last year. The wage gap widens for middle-skilled workers in female-dominated jobs, who earn just 66 cents on the dollar paid to their counterparts in male-dominated occupations.

Women hold 55 percent of all middle-skilled jobs, i.e. those requiring a high school education but not a bachelor's degree, yet they account for only a third of workers in "good," middle-skilled occupations paying between $35,000 and $102,000 a year, IWPR found. On the flipside, women represent 86 percent of middle-skilled workers making less than $30,000 annually.

"Progress on closing the gender wage gap has slowed to a halt in the last decade," IWPR's Ariane Hegewisch, the study's lead author, said in a statement. "At the same time, employers are facing a shortage in workers who can fill these fast growing jobs in middle-skill sectors. Integrating these occupations is a win-win-win for women, employers and the economy as a whole."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:59am
Wed Mar 23, 2016

Laid Off Chicago Bakery Workers, Union Leaders Prepare To Escalate Nabisco Boycott Campaign (VIDEO)

Laid off Chicago Nabisco bakery workers and their union leaders say they aren't done fighting to protect American jobs from being shipped to Mexico. They protested Wednesday outside the bakery and detailed next steps for their Nabisco consumer boycott campaign. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:53pm
Thu Mar 10, 2016

Chicago Nabisco Bakery Workers Rally Against Layoffs, Offshoring Of American Jobs (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Chicago Nabisco bakery workers protested Thursday against Mondelez International's plans to move hundreds of local jobs to Mexico.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:15pm
Tue Mar 8, 2016

On International Women's Day, Chicago McDonald's Workers Demand 'Respect' On The Job (VIDEO)

Women McDonald's workers and their allies spoke out against alleged workplace abuses during a Chicago protest held Tuesday morning to coincide with International Women's Day. Progress Illinois was there for the protest. 

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