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Public Protests

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:48pm
Fri May 1

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 Ashlee Rezin
2:25am
Thu Apr 16

On Tax Day, Thousands Join Fight For $15 Protest In Chicago (VIDEO)

More than 5,000 low-wage workers and their allies rallied at the University of Illinois at Chicago and protested throughout the city's downtown streets during a national day of strikes Wednesday afternoon – Tax Day – to call for a $15 minimum wage and union recognition. Progress Illinois was there for the action.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:13pm
Thu Apr 2

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call McDonald's Wage Increase A 'Slap In The Face' (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers and their allies from Action Now protested Thursday in response to McDonald's announcement that it will soon raise wages, but only for some employees.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:51pm
Wed Mar 25

Garcia, CTU Call For $15 Minimum Wage For CPS Employees (VIDEO)

Chicago Mayoral challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia joined the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) on Wednesday in demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage for all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) employees, including subcontracted workers.

Garcia and CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey made the call for a "living wage" for CPS employees at a press conference held ahead of the Chicago Board of Education's monthly meeting.

Safe Passage workers, who guard routes students take while traveling to and from school, are among those who would be impacted if CPS lifted its hourly minimum wage to $15 for all employees.

Sharkey said "there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Safe Passage workers" who currently earn less than $15 an hour.

"I stand with CTU today because what they are pressing for is an increase in the living wage," said Garcia, who is endorsed by the teachers' union in Chicago's mayoral race. "It is essential to have more stable families. They are critical providers of front-line services, caring for our children, ensuring greater community stability. I stand with them because it is good for Chicago and for a more promising Chicago for all workers in the city."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:57pm
Mon Mar 23

Hundreds Protest For Living Wage, Union Rights At Chicago Food 4 Less Store (VIDEO)

Hundreds of Chicago minimum wage workers and their supporters descended upon a West Side Food 4 Less store Saturday morning, demanding that the grocer give its employees a higher wage and the right to form a union.

Food 4 Less is owned by Kroger. The activists allege that Food 4 Less workers in Chicago are provided less money and fewer benefits than unionized Kroger workers across the country.

"We're asking them to respect Chicago, because Food 4 Less is union in California, and other Kroger banners are union as well, but for some reason they don't care enough about workers here," said Kristin Ryan, an organizer with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 881.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
5:45pm
Thu Mar 19

OP-ED: Our Days of Discontent With Springfield

The following was written by Jennifer Ritter, executive director of ONE Northside.

The March 11 converging of thousands of everyday working people on Springfield demonstrates the level of outrage with Gov. Rauner's budget proposals. These proposals reveal his lack of concern and even contempt for Illinois' working families and those who depend on social safety net services to survive.

The outpouring also demonstrates our dissatisfaction with our legislators' failure to take a stand and develop a plan to raise revenue in order to preserve life-saving programs for the most vulnerable in our society.

People clearly are tired of politicians rigging the system on behalf of big corporations and the wealthy while our families struggle to get by.

Rauner's single-minded focus on cuts without a mention of revenue-generating options that could soften the blow betrays the level of "compassion" the governor said he would demonstrate while in office.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Tue Feb 3

Chicago Education Activists Keep Pressure On Ald. Burns Over Dyett High School (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists who have been fighting to preserve Walter H. Dyett High School as an open-enrollment, traditional neighborhood school protested outside of Ald. Will Burns' (4th) office Tuesday morning, claiming the South Side alderman "pretends to be progressive while pushing privatization."

Members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, who for more than a year have been advocating for a community-driven plan to turn the facility into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school, are upset over the prospect of a contract operator taking control of the Bronzeville school. They are also angry because the alderman has not endorsed their global leadership and green technology proposal.

"Instead of honoring the community plan and believing in democracy, Ald. Will Burns has given Dyett over to private operators and left it open for the school to be a contract school," said Jitu Brown with the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, which is spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO).

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