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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:16pm
Tue Oct 15, 2013

Low-Wage Fast Food Jobs Cost IL Taxpayers $368 Million A Year, Report Finds

Low-wages paid by the multi-billion dollar fast-food industry force 51 percent of Illinois' fast food workers to rely on public assistance programs to cover basic needs, costing taxpayers in the state $368 million annually, a new report from the University of California at Berkeley shows. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:28pm
Thu Aug 29, 2013

Chicago Fast Food, Retail Workers Join National Strike For Higher Wages (VIDEO)

Hundreds of Chicago fast food and retail workers walked off the job Thursday to take part in a national, one-day strike for higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. Progress Illinois was there for the morning and afternoon actions.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:03pm
Fri Aug 2, 2013

Bakery Workers Protest Company's Alleged Union Busting, Prepare For Strike (VIDEO)

Bakery workers and their supporters protested outside of Elk Grove Village's Grecian Delight Thursday to criticize the company’s alleged attempts to dismantle the union during contract negotiations.

“They want to exploit cheap labor, they want to get rid of union security,” said Margarito Diaz, a union representative for Workers United. “Workers are ready to do whatever needs to be done to protect the issue of seniority, the issue of temporary employees and access, and union security.”

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
11:22am
Fri Aug 2, 2013

Fast Food And Retail Workers Continue Push For Higher Wages, Hundreds Walk Off The Job (VIDEO)

“If I get paid on Friday, by Monday I’m broke,” said Mary Harris, 64, who has worked at Wendy’s for 11 years. Harris makes $9.23 per hour, and on Thursday she went on strike with approximately 400 other fast food and retail workers in Chicago to demand higher wages and better working conditions. Progress Illinois was there for the action.

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.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:27pm
Thu Jul 11, 2013

Chicagoans Criticize CPS Budget Cuts, Plan Meeting With School Officials Next Week To Discuss Funding (VIDEO)

Officials from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) agreed to meet with community members at a Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) public meeting next week, following a massive protest Thursday. Roughly 200 parents and students gathered outside CPS headquarters to push back against impending budget cuts that threaten to strip critical resources from the district.  

During the protest, the Thomas Kelly High School marching band’s drum line performed what may have been its final concert, according to Thursday's participants who say the school’s music program faces an uncertain future.

“How are they making things better,” asked Anita Caballero, board president of the BPNC, who participated in the demonstration. “All of the schools in the Chicago area are losing all of the things that make education work, they’re losing teachers; they’re losing counselors; they’re losing materials; and we can’t stand for it.”

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