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Stand Up! Chicago
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:58am
Tue Dec 10, 2013

Chicagoans Deliver Coal, Candy Canes To Politicians Based On Public Education Votes (VIDEO)

A few hundred public education activists took to City Hall and the Thompson Center Monday evening to deliver their holiday list of demands as well as lumps of coal and candy canes to the offices of naughty and nice elected officials. Progress Illinois was there for the protest.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:46pm
Thu Nov 14, 2013

Chicago Walmart Workers Take Part In National Series Of Strikes

Less than a week after Walmart workers in Los Angeles went on strike and a day after Seattle workers at the retail giant walked off the job, Walmart employees at three locations in Chicago staged a strike of their own.

Employees from stores in Lakeview, Evergreen Park and Chatham staged walkouts in the early afternoon Wednesday and later descended on the South Side Chatham location for a rally. The series of strikes are part of a larger campaign by OUR Walmart, which is tied to the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. The group is calling for a nationwide protest against Walmart on Black Friday and has built a website to help organize workers and community supporters. The Nation reports that more than 400 Walmart workers walked off the job in a similar protest against the company last year.

Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:27pm
Thu Sep 5, 2013

Walmart Workers Rally In Chicago For Better Jobs, Higher Wages (VIDEO)

More than 100 Chicago Walmart workers and their supporters rallied outside the retail giant's West Loop location Thursday afternoon, calling on the company to boost wages and reinstate illegally fired and disciplined workers. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:38pm
Wed Aug 7, 2013

Protesters Stage 'Die-In' Against Stand Your Ground Laws Outside Of ALEC Conference (VIDEO)

On the first day of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual conference in Chicago, nearly 100 activists staged a “die-in” at the meeting's doors to protest the powerful right-wing policy group’s promotion of controversial Stand Your Ground gun laws.

“Stand Your Ground? I call them the ‘Shoot First Laws,’” said Carl Gibson, 26, co-founder of U.S. Uncut and participant in Wednesday’s action. “It’s not really standing your ground, it’s just a shoot first, ask questions later law and it enabled George Zimmerman to get away with murdering a child.”

ALEC is hosting its 40th national conference from August 7 to August 9 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago and, upset with the organization’s conservative agenda and impact on legislation, protesters kicked off a series of rallies and protests to be held throughout the week.

On Wednesday, as members of ALEC filtered into the hotel and prepared for the first day of the conference, roughly 80 protesters from a plethora of local grassroots organizations, such as Stand Up! Chicago and Action Now, “died” outside of the hotel’s lobby.

“ALEC is here today to push Stand Your Ground laws all across our nation. Do we want that,” asked Shani Smith, 38, a project organizer with Stand Up! Chicago, who participated in Wednesday's demonstration. “We are here today to stand up to ALEC and let them know that we will no longer allow them to terrorize working families.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:48pm
Fri Jul 19, 2013

Dunkin Donuts Workers Forced To Work In Almost 100-Degree Temps Walk Off The Job (VIDEO)

As a heat wave took over Chicago this week, with temperatures reaching well over 95 degrees on several occasions, workers at a downtown Dunkin’ Donuts were forced to work without air conditioning since Sunday.

On Thursday, tired of being forced to sweat it out, three workers walked out on strike, locking the doors of the 24-hour location behind them as they left. The Dunkin Donuts location, which has a broken air conditioner, was closed for eight hours.

“I couldn’t stand it anymore,” said Luis Vargas, 21, an employee of Dunkin’ Donuts for five months and one of the workers who walked out. “If we didn’t drink any liquids I’m pretty sure me and my coworkers would have passed out.”

The store’s thermostat hit 99 degrees when the workers walked off the job. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
11:07am
Fri Jul 12, 2013

Wage Against the Machine: Chicagoans Demand Minimum Wage Increase

On Thursday afternoon, a group of protesters converged outside of the James R. Thompson Center to continue the call for a raise of Illinois’ minimum wage.

At the rally, speakers from policy groups including Stand Up! Chicago, Action Now, and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability urged state lawmakers and business owners to work together to increase the minimum wage from $8.25 per hour. Illinois’ rate is the fourth-highest in the nation, behind Vermont, Oregon and Washington. Gov. Pat Quinn supports an increase to the minimum wage, calling for 20 percent increase to the wage during his State of the State address in February. Meanwhile, a bill proposed back in 2011 (SB 1565) has yet to be voted on.

The ralliers argued that cost of living increases since the last time Illinois raised its minimum wage — which was phased in from 2006 to 2010 — need to be accounted for. Elizabeth Parisian, policy director for Stand Up! Chicago, said a two-parent, two-child family would have to earn just over $69,000 annually to make ends meet, and a one-parent, one-child household would have to earn just under $49,000 to sustain themselves in the current economy. Parisian said Stand Up! Chicago is asking the state to increase the minimum wage to $10.60 per hour.

“Low wage and minimum wage workers need a raise. And so any effort to bump their pay is good for the economy,” said Parisian, who also argued that workers will spend more if their income levels rise.

Read more »

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
7:56pm
Tue Jun 25, 2013

SCOTUS Workplace Harassment Decision Likely To Hurt Workers Facing Discrimination

Victims of workplace harassment and discrimination suffered a major setback Monday, according to critics of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to not hold Ball State University (BSU) responsible for racial discrimination and harassment of an African American kitchen worker in 2005.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
3:59pm
Fri Jun 7, 2013

Walmart Workers Call For A Living Wage, Better Work Conditions (VIDEO)

When Larry Born’s privately-owned retail business closed its doors during the recession in 2009, he sought employment at Walmart. He said he didn’t know it at the time, but he walked into a “predatory employer” that pays “slave wages.” Born was one of nearly 100 people who protested outside Chicago’s Walmart Express store, at 570 West Monroe St., to demand better wages and improved working conditions for the employees of the world’s largest retailer.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:34pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Push Back Against Koch Brothers' Potential Tribune Purchase Continues With National Day Of Action (VIDEO)

Protesters are ramping up advocacy against the potential sale of all or some of the Tribune Company to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers with a nationwide day of action. Meanwhile, the number of signatures on various online petitions has risen to more than 500,000.

“We will not sell our freedom of speech. We will not sell our right to have independent news. We will not sell the City of Chicago,” said Shani Smith, 38, a project organizer with Stand Up! Chicago. “We are here for senior citizens, for children, for working families, and that’s what we stand for. If the Koch brothers don’t stand for it, they most certainly cannot buy the Chicago Tribune.”

Read more »