Chicago janitors represented by SEIU* Local 1 took to the streets Thursday morning as they began gearing up for pending contract negotiations.
SEIU Local 1 leaders and dozens of Chicago custodians from institutional and commercial services kicked off their 2015 janitorial contract campaign on the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Their contracts are set to expire in April.
The unionized janitors, including many who clean Chicago Public Schools (CPS) buildings, rolled out their campaign calling for better wages and benefits outside of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, 4445 S. Drexel Boulevard.
"Of course, Martin Luther King, he stood for many things, but people fail to realize he died supporting the sanitation strike in Memphis, supporting sanitation workers who were being treated unfair," said Lonnell Saffold, director of institutional services for SEIU Local 1. "We believe that it's only right we be here to commemorate him and realize that his struggle is not going to die."
Labor leaders gathered to discuss the future of American unions and the critical keys to their survival at a University of Chicago panel discussion Thursday night. Progress Illinois details highlights from the talk.
How one voted in the governor's race is not an infallible indication of how someone voted on the non-binding referendum to raise the minimum wage. At least that's the case at the polling place at the Crest Hill branch of the White Oak Library District, where subdivisions meet cornfields on the outskirts of Lockport and Joliet in Will County.
Michael Arbanas, a semi-retired iron worker and antiques dealer from Crest Hill, voted for Bruce Rauner for governor, but also voted in favor of raising the minimum wage.
"I believe that Pat Quinn, by raising taxes on big business, he drove business out of the state and I think it's time for a change," Arbanas said.