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May Day
Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
Mon May 2, 2016

Fight For $15 Takes Battle For A Living Wage To Chicago Suburbs

The Fight for $15 campaign is taking their call for a wage increase and better working conditions to the Chicago suburbs. The workers' rights campaign held a rally at Evanston's Fountain Square over the weekend.

Emboldened by recent Fight for $15 victories in New York and California, speakers called out McDonald's and other low-wage employers, demanding that they at least match Chicago's recent minimum wage increase.

"We all know Evanston is becoming increasingly less welcome to low-income residents by way of rising property values and less affordable housing," said Gabriel Machabanski, of the Open Communities organization. "Equally important, but less emphasized, is the stagnant poverty wages. Chicago has taken action and increased its minimum wage. There's no reason workers on this side of Howard should be making less than $10 an hour."

Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) also spoke at the event, saying that the economic landscape of the country has changed over the last 30 years, concentrating the distribution of wealth among the elite.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu May 1, 2014

Hundreds Attend Chicago May Day Rally, Demand A Stop To Deportations (VIDEO)

Hundreds of protesters took part in Chicago's May Day events Thursday to stand for workers’ rights and demand an end to deportations. Progress Illinois was there for the day's events.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Apr 16, 2014

Chicago Activists To Demand A Stop To Deportations On May Day

Activists participating in the upcoming May Day workers' march and celebration in the city of Chicago will deliver a clear message to President Barack Obama — two million deportations is too many.

May 1, or May Day, is an international day of honoring workers. Since 2006, an annual May Day rally has been held in Chicago, highlighting immigrant rights as an important aspect of the workers' rights debate.

Thousands of people attended last year'sMay Day event in the city to rally for comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which is now stalled in Congress.

This year, the main message is about deportations. The goal is to "try and keep the pressure on the [Obama] administration to do everything that's in their power to defer action to a broader group of immigrants working here in the United States, and do that quickly," said Susan Hurley with Chicago Jobs with Justice.

"We have approached or passed a milestone of 2 million people being deported [under the Obama administration], and that's just too many families being separated," she added. "It's got to stop, and if we can't get legislation that will fix our broken system, then we need to back off the deportations until we can get that legislation." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed May 1, 2013

Workers, Immigrant Rights Advocates Prepare For May Day Rally In Chicago (VIDEO)

Immigrant rights advocates, workers and other activists will march and rally in the city today in support of workers' rights and comprehensive immigration reform that provides a fair pathway to citizenship and stops deportations until a new law is passed.

Members of SEIU* Local 1 and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) prepared for the May Day event yesterday by making signs and hashing out final details for the rallies. 

"Having immigration reform is going to help a lot of families fix their status and come out of the shadows and stop living in fear," said Graciela Vergara, chair of the SEIU Central Region Latino Caucus, at the sign making event. "A lot of our people in our community live in fear, because they’re not here legally ... and we know that a lot of companies, a lot of employers have been doing E-Verify. A lot of families have been affected."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Apr 25, 2013

Labor To Stand In Solidarity With Immigration Reform Advocates On May Day (VIDEO)

Chicago community, faith and labor allies said they stand in solidarity with immigrant rights advocates and will make a push for comprehensive immigration reform at the upcoming May Day workers' march and celebration in the city.