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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:08pm
Fri Feb 14, 2014

Activists Stand In Support Of Menard Prison Hunger Strikers; IDOC Pushes Back Against 'False' Allegations

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the prisoner hunger strike that is taking place at the Menard Correctional Center.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
7:47am
Thu Feb 6, 2014

CTU President, Protesters Push Back Against 'Unjust' Whole Foods Firing

Dozens of demonstrators picketed a Whole Foods Market in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood Wednesday and demanded that store management reinstate an employee they say was unjustly terminated last week. Rhiannon Broschat said she was fired last week after calling off work due to the inclement weather. Broschat, a single mother, was unable to find someone to care for her special needs son Alexander last Tuesday when the Chicago Public Schools cancelled classes. On Wednesday, Broschat received a termination notice for violating the company's attendance policy.

“I called to let them know my struggle,” Broschat said. “To my surprise, they called me back the next day to tell me I was terminated. This left me with questions because we had a new revised attendance policy that stated inclement weather would be an excused absense.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:58pm
Tue Feb 4, 2014

Environmentalists Hold Vigil In Chicago To Protest Keystone XL Pipeline (UPDATED)

About 100 environmentalists held a vigil outside of the U.S. State Department's Chicago regional office on Monday evening to demand that President Barack Obama reject the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

The activists held candles in one hand and signs reading "Stop KXL" and "KXL = Climate Change" in the other.

"We believe that building more pipelines is not the way to energy security, to energy independence or to the clean energy future that we need for our climate, but also for our economy," said Kady McFadden, an organizer with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign in Illinois. "We're here to urge President Obama to say, 'No. Absolutely no' to the Keystone XL Pipeline."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:46pm
Mon Feb 3, 2014

Fired Chicago Snarf's Workers Reach Settlement With Sandwich Shop Company

Fourteen former Chicago Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were abruptly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location have reached a settlement with the Denver-based sandwich chain.

The fired employees, who were given pink slips on December 22, received a month's worth of back pay on Monday and have been guaranteed that they can have their jobs back once the River North restaurant reopens after a remodel. It is not known, however, how many of the 14 Snarf's employees will actually go back to work at the River North restaurant once it reopens.

The sandwich shop, located at 600 W. Chicago Ave., is being converted into one of Snarf's burger-concept chains, and it could reopen as early as mid-February, the former workers said. Snarf's officials say the change in the restaurant's model is in response to “increased competition and losses.”

The recent settlement follows multiple protests that the discharged Snarf's workers and their supporters, including the Worker’s Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), have held against the "unjust" firings.

"Our goal was to send a strong message that we're not going to tolerate this kind of treatment," said Kevin Brown, 25, one of the fired River North sandwich makers. "We know that we were fired in an unjust manner, and we want to make sure that we get justice out of the situation, and we think we did through the settlement."

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
1:54pm
Wed Jan 22, 2014

Chicago Education Activists Brave The Cold In Overnight Vigil In Protest Of Charter School Expansion (UPDATED)

    Dozens of protesters braved single digit temperatures Tuesday night to hold an overnight vigil in opposition of charter school expansion in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Wed Jan 8, 2014

Fired Chicago Snarf's Workers Demand Back Pay, Reinstatement Of Jobs

   Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were suddenly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location in Chicago say they want back pay and their jobs reinstated.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:04pm
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.

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