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Labor
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:24pm
Wed Aug 27

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author. Read more »

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:19pm
Fri Aug 22

U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicago To Review Efforts To Include Pullman Area In System

Efforts to designate parts of the Pullman community on Chicago’s far South Side as a national park site could see some presidential muscle behind the cause.

The head of the U.S. National Park Service toured what remains of the Pullman Palace Car Company Thursday as part of a visit to gage public support for including portions of the community, created by its namesake founder George M. Pullman, in the national park system. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the national parks system director, said a little known presidential power given under the 1906 Antiquities Act could make the proposal a reality sooner than later.

That route seems doable since legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep Robin Kelly (D-IL,2) have been stuck in committee in both chambers since the bills were introduced. The Antiquities Act allows a president to use an executive order to designate a site as a national monument.

Jarvis said there are two ways to establish a new park within the national park system — one is through Congress, which he said “we have not seen a lot of movement on” even though both bills have bipartisan support.

“But there is an alternative path and that is presidential power,” he added. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
11:34am
Mon Aug 18

Golan's Workers Continue To Strike, See Support From Religious Leaders

Religious leaders joined more than 100 workers and their supporters on a picket line Saturday in front of the Golan's Moving and Storage Company in Skokie to hold a vigil and show solidarity with the company's employees. The workers have been striking for two weeks.

Last month, some 60 workers walked off the job after contract negotiations with the moving company stalled. In addition to charging the company with unfair labor practices, the striking workers, who in December won representation from the Teamster’s Local 705, are also fighting for health insurance, wage increases and more.

“There can be no peace without justice,” Cantor Michael Davis of the Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism in Highland Park told the crowd. “We remember that we all came from somewhere else. That we were all slaves once in Egypt, and we stand with everybody who is struggling. We call for justice for the workers of Golan's.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:28pm
Thu Aug 14

Duckworth Talks Paycheck Fairness, Gender Wage Gap At Suburban Panel Discussion

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) called attention to the gender wage gap and federal legislation designed to help close it at a panel discussion in Hanover Park Thursday morning. 

In Illinois, women make 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. On average, females in the Prairie State earn nearly $12,000 less than their male counterparts each year, Duckworth noted.

"Basically, we're shortchanging our families," the congresswoman said at the discussion with representatives from government agencies and non-profits. "That really affects not just the breadwinner, or the women herself, but her entire family" and the local economy "because people have less buying power."  Read more »