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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:51pm
Wed Jan 6, 2016

SCOTUS To Hear Oral Arguments Monday In Major Labor Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a high-profile labor case that could significantly affect public employee unions nationwide.

At issue is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case brought by 10 nonunion public school teachers in California who object to paying "agency" or "fair share" fees to their local union.

The plaintiffs -- represented by the the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a conservative public interest law firm -- argue that the mandatory fees, which support costs associated with collective bargaining, violate their First Amendment rights.

"Requiring teachers to pay these 'agency fees' assumes that collective bargaining is non-political," reads a posting on CIR's website. "But bargaining with local governments is inherently political. Whether the union is negotiating for specific class sizes or pressing a local government to spend tax dollars on teacher pensions rather than on building parks, the union's negotiating positions embody political choices that are often controversial."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:53pm
Thu Nov 19, 2015

O'Hare Security Workers Stage One-Day 'Unfair Labor Practice' Strike (VIDEO)

Security workers at O'Hare International Airport went on strike Thursday, alleging unfair labor practices by their employer Universal Security.

Fourteen out of 160 O'Hare security officers employed by Universal Security staged the one-day "unfair labor practice" strike to protest against alleged retaliation by their employer for speaking out about work conditions and organizing.

"These workers are the people who work hard to keep our passengers safe, but they work in a hostile environment each and every day and are constantly under the threat of losing their jobs," said Genie Kastrup, vice president and chief of staff with SEIU* Local 1.

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."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:27pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Low-Wage Workers March In Downtown Chicago, Push For Fight For $15 Political Agenda (VIDEO)

Hundreds of low-wage Chicago workers and their allies hit the city's downtown streets Tuesday evening to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and other items on their new "voter agenda."

The protest, which started at the Thompson Center and ended with a march to a nearby McDonald's at Clark and Lake streets, was one among many Fight for $15 actions happening Tuesday in 500 U.S. cities.

Fast food and other low-wage workers chanted, "What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!"

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:08pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Chicago Fight For $15 Activists Rally For 'Racial, Economic Justice' During National Day Of Protests (VIDEO)

Low-wages workers with the Fight for $15 campaign went on strike Tuesday in 270 cities, including Chicago. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the morning Fight for $15 protests in Chicago.

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