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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:58pm
Wed May 20

Illinois Renters Must Earn $18.78 Hourly To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment, Report Finds

The gap between wages and rents continues to widen in Illinois and nationally, shows a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:44pm
Wed May 20

Fast Food Workers Protest For Higher Wages, Union Recognition At McDonald's Headquarters (VIDEO)

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Fight for $15 protest at McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:02pm
Thu Apr 30

Economic Experts Make The Case For A $12 Federal Minimum Wage

Experts from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue that the U.S. economy could well afford a federal minimum wage increase to $12 an hour by 2020 -- a proposal that could impact nearly 38 million workers.

EPI researchers make their case for a $12 minimum wage in a report released Thursday, the same day the new "Raise the Wage Act" was introduced to Congress by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA,3).

Under the Raise the Wage Act, the federal hourly minimum wage would go up gradually from the current figure of $7.25 to $12 by 2020. Raise the Wage Act proponents are taking to social media Thursday afternoon for a "Twitterstorm" using the hashtags #RaiseTheWage, #12by2020 and #1FairWage.

"If you go to work and work hard for 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty in America," said U.S. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who joined Murray and Scott in introducing the bill. "The Raise the Wage Act will increase wages for 38 million workers -- more than one in four -- and lift millions out of poverty. In Illinois alone, 1.6 million workers -- 28 percent of the state's workforce -- will see an average increase in wages of $3,200 a year. That helps families get off government support programs and give them more money to spend and put back into our economy."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:35pm
Thu Apr 23

Low-Wage Jobs Cost Illinois Taxpayers $1 Billion Annually, Report Finds

Progress Illinois looks at the findings of a new report detailing the "hidden cost of low-wage work" at the national and state levels.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:37pm
Mon Apr 20

Report: 2014 Wall Street Bonuses Were Double The Earnings Of 1 Million Low-Wage Workers

recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reveals that Wall Street employees received $28.5 billion in combined bonuses last year.

That works out to be double the collective annual earnings of the more than one million full-time U.S. workers who made the federal minimum wage in 2014. At the national level, the hourly minimum wage is $7.25.

The $28.5 billion in bonuses was spread out among 167,800 Wall Street bank employees, according to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

"The size of the [2014 Wall Street] bonus pool was 27 percent higher than in 2009, the last time Congress increased the minimum wage," reads the report, "Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers."

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.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:23pm
Wed Apr 15

A Look At The Morning Fight For 15 Protests In Chicago (VIDEO)

Workers fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize began a series of day-long rallies and speak-outs this morning in what organizers say will be the largest mobilization of low wage workers to date. Coordinated protests by the Fight for 15 movement and its allies are taking place in more than 200 cities in 30 countries with workers from multiple industries demanding a $15 an hour wage and better working conditions.

In Chicago, workers and their supporters rallied at numerous McDonald's locations across the city, beginning with an early morning demonstration that drew 200 at a South Side restaurant location at 8321 S. Ashland. The protests, led by fast food workers, have also drawn home care, child care and airport workers as well as college students, adjunct professors and Brink's armored car and armed security guards.

"I scrap and scrape and stress all day, every day," said Douglas Hunter, a 53-year-old maintenance worker at a McDonald's location on Chicago's West side. Hunter, who has a 16-year-old daughter, has participated in numerous strikes for more than a year. He said low wages contribute to the degradation of neighborhoods.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:46am
Fri Mar 27

CTU Unveils New Contract Demands, Rallies With Allies For 'Education Justice' (VIDEO)

The Chicago Teachers Union is in contract talks with the Board of Ed and released its final set of demands Thursday. The union held a large rally Thursday evening, calling for "education justice" in Chicago — a running theme among the final 10 contract requests released by the group of educators. 

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