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Mon Sep 1

OP-ED: What FDR Actually Said And What Bruce Rauner Doesn't Get This Labor Day

The following is by Izabela Miltko, deputy press secretary of the Quinn for Illinois campaign.

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner has never met a union he's ever liked, and his own words make that amply clear. He's called them "tumors." He called them "immoral." He even threatened to shut down the government to get his way.

Now, it's not bad enough that Rauner demonizes and consistently attacks unions that represent working men and women, but he really thought he was getting a dig in on that last characterization. That's because Rauner was ascribing his hatred for labor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Rauner was being quoted by the State Journal-Register when he claimed that FDR was speaking about public-sector unions and said that, "government unions are wrong...they shouldn't exist, they're immoral."

Rauner's hero up in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has similarly tried to appropriate the words of President Roosevelt and create the impression that these words and sentiments are true.

They're not. In fact, they’re not even close. And the fact that Rauner is trying to get away with this lie-at the same time advocating against workers, unions and the minimum wage-is an insult to us all. Read more »

Quick Hit
Mon Sep 1

Guest Post: Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?

The following is written by Keith Kelleher, founder and president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, and an International Vice-President of SEIU.

Earlier this summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court weakened labor protections for 26,000 home care providers in Illinois, most analysts characterized the decision as a dire portent for unions representing low-wage workers.  So here's what happened next:  The day after the ruling in Harris v. Quinn, those 26,000 home care providers began earning the latest in a series of wage increases their union had collectively bargained on their behalf. 

Just like the wages they fought so hard to increase during the past 30 years — wages that were once an unconscionable $1 an hour -- these home care workers will not be held down by the Supreme Court.  In fact, this year alone, our union, which includes the low wage, mostly female workers penalized by the court ruling, added 10,000 home care personal assistants to our membership. 

We did it the same way we built home care unions three decades ago — by organizing.  Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Thu Aug 28

Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.” Read more »