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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 10, 2014

Chicago McDonald's Workers Celebrate International Women's Day, Call For An End To Verbal Abuse

    Fast food workers and their supporters protested at Chicago's Rock N' Roll McDonald's on Saturday afternoon to call out a restaurant manager who allegedly told an employee to "put a bullet" in her head.

Members of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC) and the Fight for 15 campaign staged the demonstration to coincide with International Women's Day. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jan 23, 2014

Education, Youth Justice Experts Sound Off On New Federal School Discipline Guidelines

Earlier this month, the Obama administration rolled out new school discipline guidelines that call on educators to abandon harsh policies, like suspensions and expulsions, for minor infractions that disproportionately impact minorities and those with disabilities. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the non-binding recommendations.
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
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
Mon Dec 2, 2013

Workers Push Back Against Walmart During Black Friday Protests

Hundreds demonstrated outside Walmart stores across the country on Black Friday to protest what they say are “poverty wages” and poor working conditions for workers of the retail giant. Organizers with the group OUR Walmart say more than 110 people were arrested at various Black Friday demonstrations in cities across the country, according to the protest organizers, in cities including Sacramento, St. Paul, Seattle and Chicago. In total, demonstrations took place in 46 states across the country.

“We cannot wait any longer. That’s why I’m standing up today – for my coworkers, my family and my community,” said Myron Bird, a worker from Walmart’s Lakeview location in Chicago. Bird was arrested with nine others at the Chicago store for participating in civil disobedience and blocking the street.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Nov 1, 2013

Medical Marijuana Law Creates A 'Gray Area' For Both Employers And Employees In The Workplace

It's still a little hazy as to how Illinois' new medical marijuana law, set to take effect in January, will play out in the workplace, experts say. Progress Illinois takes a look at the issue.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Oct 25, 2013

Youth Advocates Call For Better Pregnancy, Parenting Student Supports

The rights of pregnant and parenting students in Illinois are often overlooked, and more supports need to be in place to ensure the youth reach their full academic potential, school officials and adolescent health advocates said at a town hall meeting on the topic in Chicago.

The meeting, hosted by the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health's (ICAH) School Network, follows recently-released guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on strategies meant to support the academic success of pregnant and parenting students under Title IX. The department's optional recommendations issued in June were prepared for secondary school administrators, teachers, counselors, parents and students.

ICAH's Executive Director Yamani Hernandez said a "blanket of shame" still shrouds many young people who are pregnant or parenting and, "That’s really a barrier to their success."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Oct 24, 2013

Chicago Clergy Leaders Join The Push For Better Wages, Workplace Conditions At Walmart (VIDEO)

A group of Chicago clergy leaders gathered with Walmart employees and their supporters Wednesday, calling on the mega retailer to improve work conditions and provide better wages so its workers do not have to rely on public assistance programs to cover their basic needs.

At a news conference outside a Chatham neighborhood Walmart, pastor Walter Turner with the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side said the community will not tolerate the world's largest retailer "pimping the employees."

"Walmart workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," he said. "They deserve better working conditions which ensure they earn at least $25,000 a year, so they can take care of their family and not have to rely upon taxpayer dollars to survive."