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Minimum wage
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:08pm
Tue Aug 12

Report: High Housing Costs Persist For Millions Of Americans, Renters Hit The Worst

The U.S. housing industry saw some progress in 2013 due in part to increased housing construction as well as rising home prices and sales, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Despite areas of improvement, however, the report found that homeownership rates are still trending downward, low-income households face persistent challenges finding affordable housing and millions of Americans continue to grapple with high housing costs. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:36pm
Thu Aug 7

Chicago Activists Call On Ald. Burns To Support A $15 Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

Community activists protested outside Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) office Thursday morning, calling on the South Side alderman to support a $15 minimum wage in Chicago.

“We are tired of politicians, like Will Burns, ignoring the voice of the people,” said Adeline Bracey, a member of Action Now.

Bracey was one of roughly 50 protesters to march outside Burns’ Bronzeville neighborhood office, at 435 E. 35th St., chanting, “What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!” The state of Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25, while the federal minimum is $7.25. Read more »

Quick Hit
by
4:54pm
Mon Aug 4

Guest Post: How I Failed To Live On The Minimum Wage

The following was written by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9).

This past week my husband and I took the Live the Wage challenge in solidarity with hard-working families who are trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary. Our allotment was $77 each for the week to cover all food, transportation and other expenses excluding housing, insurance, and support for dependent children (which I don’t have). It didn’t take us long to realize that $7.25 an hour is not enough to live on. We didn’t quite make it.

To anyone who thinks this challenge is just a gimmick, I say “Try it.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
3:15pm
Mon Aug 4

Guzzardi Mobilizes Volunteers To Gin Up Support For Minimum Wage Increase

Saturday afternoon was a gorgeous summer day — a little on the warm side for some — and retired Skokie high school teacher Evie Raffanti spent some time ringing doorbells in Logan Square to drum up support for an increase in the minimum wage.

“If you want me to speak frankly, I’m just really pissed off,’’ said Raffanti about what motivated her to spend her Saturday out talking to people about the issue. “How in the world can you live on $17,000 a year?’’

The figure she cited is about what a minimum wage earner makes in a year. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:33pm
Thu Jul 31

Chicago Fast Food Workers Celebrate NLRB's McDonald's Ruling (VIDEO)

Chanting "Who's the boss? McDonald's!," a group of fast food workers rallied in Chicago on Thursday in response to this week's decision by the National Labor Relations Board's top lawyer, who found that McDonald's could be held liable as an employer in unfair labor practice complaints filed against their franchisees.

The decision issued Tuesday by the NLRB general counsel came in response to unfair labor practice charges brought against McDonald’s and its franchised restaurants in a number of cities, including Chicago, since November of 2012, when fast food workers in New York participated in the first strike against the fast food industry. Among other allegations, the complainants say McDonald's retaliated against workers for organizing.

Though the ruling is preliminary, McDonald's employee Nancy Salgado, who works in the city's Logan Square neighborhood, said fast food workers — who are fighting for $15 an hour and a union — are ecstatic about the decision. 

"All along, we know that corporate is the one in charge of McDonald's [franchised stores], in charge of the workers," Salgado said at Thursday's rally, held outside of the Rock N Roll McDonald's at 600 N. Clark St. "They're always trying to hide from us and say, 'We have nothing to do with (labor practices at the franchises) ... The owner deals with you." Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:08pm
Wed Jul 30

Chicago City Council Roundup: Minimum Wage Bump, Phone Tax Hike & New Moratorium

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's jam-packed Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Aaron Cynic
8:39pm
Mon Jul 28

Fast Food Workers Vow To Escalate Fight For Better Wages, Union Representation (VIDEO)

Fast food workers from across the nation gathered at a national convention in Illinois over the weekend to brainstorm ways to amp up their call for a $15 hourly wage and union representation. Progress Illinois was there for the two-day event.