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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Feb 3, 2014

Fired Chicago Snarf's Workers Reach Settlement With Sandwich Shop Company

Fourteen former Chicago Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were abruptly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location have reached a settlement with the Denver-based sandwich chain.

The fired employees, who were given pink slips on December 22, received a month's worth of back pay on Monday and have been guaranteed that they can have their jobs back once the River North restaurant reopens after a remodel. It is not known, however, how many of the 14 Snarf's employees will actually go back to work at the River North restaurant once it reopens.

The sandwich shop, located at 600 W. Chicago Ave., is being converted into one of Snarf's burger-concept chains, and it could reopen as early as mid-February, the former workers said. Snarf's officials say the change in the restaurant's model is in response to “increased competition and losses.”

The recent settlement follows multiple protests that the discharged Snarf's workers and their supporters, including the Worker’s Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), have held against the "unjust" firings.

"Our goal was to send a strong message that we're not going to tolerate this kind of treatment," said Kevin Brown, 25, one of the fired River North sandwich makers. "We know that we were fired in an unjust manner, and we want to make sure that we get justice out of the situation, and we think we did through the settlement."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jan 8, 2014

Fired Chicago Snarf's Workers Demand Back Pay, Reinstatement Of Jobs

   Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were suddenly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location in Chicago say they want back pay and their jobs reinstated.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Dec 19, 2013

Report: Proposed CPS Charter Schools Could Cost Taxpayers $225 Million Over Next Decade

Proposals for 21 new privately run charter schools in Chicago could cost city taxpayers at least $225 million over the next decade, according to a financial analysis issued Wednesday by Communities United for Quality Education.

Next year alone, the proposed charters could come with $21 million in extra costs, according to the education coalition of parents and community members. The group argues that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been less than transparent about the added expenses associated with the new schools as well as how the district plans to pay for them.

Among other concerns, the activists fear that traditional neighborhood schools would see their budgets slashed, again, in order to cover the added costs, including heating and air conditioning fees, principal salary payments and start-up expenses. The Chicago Board of Education is expected to take up CPS’ recommendations for the new charters at its January meeting.

“CPS is not properly funding schools that exist right now,” stressed Jennie Biggs of the Raise Your Hand education coalition and Bridgeport Alliance. “How will schools survive and thrive when there’s more schools but no extra resources? In financial terms, adding charters into our school system will be a destructive move.”

Quick Hit
Thu Dec 12, 2013

Letter To The Editor From The Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus

To the Editor:

We are deeply disturbed about recent reports that suggest that the Chicago Transit Authority will end its ex-offender rail car employment program.

African Americans are disproportionately represented in Illinois’ prison population. More often than not, these ex-offenders return to their home communities after serving their sentences in prison. They return to communities that have higher than average rates of unemployment and underemployment caused by a chronic shortage of living wage jobs. Moreover, even non-violent ex-offenders face statutory bars to employment and government benefits that serve as perverse incentives for criminal behavior.