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

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."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:01pm
Mon Oct 12, 2015

Low-Wage Workers, Immigration Reform Advocates Slam Trump Over Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric (VIDEO)

Low-wage workers and their allies staged a Fight for $15 protest Monday in support of immigration reform outside the Trump Tower Chicago. There, they slammed GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump over his anti-immigrant comments and hard-line policy proposals. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:48pm
Fri May 1, 2015

On May Day, Activists Protest Over Social, Economic Issues; Labor Leaders Blast Rauner's Anti-Union Agenda (VIDEO)

Progress Illinois recaps two separate May Day demonstrations that took place Friday, including a protest by the "May Day Radical Coalition" and a rally at the Haymarket Memorial with workers and labor leaders.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:35am
Wed Feb 11, 2015

Victory for Workers: Cook Co. Board Passes Anti-Wage Theft Law (VIDEO)

The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that aims to protect employee wages and force businesses to more closely follow labor laws.

Under the ordinance, companies or business owners found guilty of wage theft are barred for five years from obtaining Cook County procurement contracts, business licenses or property tax incentives. Also, companies pursuing business with the county will now have to certify compliance with federal and state wage and labor laws.

"[Wage theft] is unfair to hard-working employees and their families and it's unfair to competing businesses which are operating within the confines of the law," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, shortly after Tuesday's vote. "The legislation passed today will make Cook County a national leader targeting wage theft."

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