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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
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
5:02pm
Mon Jan 20, 2014

Chicagoans Hold MLK Day Rally, Discuss Socioeconomic Issues & Legislation

    Thousands gathered Sunday at St. Michael the Archangel church on the city’s South Side to celebrate and pay tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and also make a call for economic and racial equality. The two-hour-long rally saw dozens of speeches from community organizers, local politicians and others who tied Dr. King’s legacy to today’s struggles for economic justice.

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 Ellyn Fortino
2:57pm
Wed Dec 11, 2013

Ald. Brookins Calls For Hearing On Inequality Among Chicago Airport Concession Workers

Workers at the Hudson News bookstore at both Midway and O’Hare International airports say the company is not treating its North and South Side employees equally, and they want the Chicago City Council to investigate the issue.

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), one of the airport workers’ advocates, introduced a non-binding resolution at Wednesday’s city council meeting that calls on the Aviation Committee to hold a hearing about the compensation system and personnel practices the company uses at both locations.

Hudson Midway workers receive an average hourly wage of $8.92, while Hudson O’Hare employees are paid an average of $10.05 per hour, Brookins’ resolution reads. Hudson News workers at O’Hare earn an average of $1.13 more an hour than their counterparts at Midway, according to the hospitality union Unite Here Local 1, which represents the Hudson News workers at O’Hare and Midway.

“Why, if you do the same work at the same company in the same city, do you get paid less money?” Brookins said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

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