Chicago Federation of Labor
President Jorge Ramirez joined a growing chorus of supporters on
Wednesday who are calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reconsider a $99
million city contract that would cause more than 300 union custodial
workers at O’Hare Airport to lose their jobs by the end of this week.
who has been considered an ally of Emanuel, was joined by fellow labor
leaders and advocates at a press conference held at City Hall to oppose
the a five-year deal with United Maintenance Inc., to provide
cleaning services to O’Hare beginning December 15.
really jeopardizes the well-being of close to 350 men and women who go
to work every day keeping the world’s busiest airport clean,” Ramirez
said. “These workers have done nothing wrong, yet on Friday, less than
two weeks before Christmas they stand to lose their jobs.”
Time is running out for more than 300 O’Hare janitors who stand to
lose their jobs by the end of next week as a result of a new city
Local clergy members and workers' rights advocates
held a prayer vigil with airport workers at City Hall Tuesday afternoon
in a last ditch effort to persuade city officials to reverse their
decision to award a $99 million custodial contract to a company critics
claim plans to replace union jobs with non-union, lower-paying
More than 100 supporters filled the fifth floor
hallway outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office in protest over the
city’s five-year agreement with United Maintenance Company Inc. to
provide janitorial services for the airport beginning December 15.
O'Hare janitors worried about the future of their jobs made a trip to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house yesterday afternoon to protest a new city contract. The workers rallied outside of the mayor's home on his 53rd birthday to protest the deal that will cause some 300 workers to lose their jobs next month, just days before the holidays.
“We don’t know how we will pay the bills, how we will put food on the table. We won’t be able to celebrate Christmas this year with our kids,” Manuel Nieves, a janitor at O’Hare for seven years, said about the impending layoffs. “Obama is always here for the working people, but our mayor’s ultimate purpose is to help the rich, not us.”
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett hasproposed a five-year moratorium on school closings starting next school year.
The caveat? That state legislators approve a request to push back the announcement of the schools the district plans to close at the end of this academic year. The district, which should — by law — announce impending school closures by December 1, would like to push back the announcement to March 31, but needs the state legislature to approve the delay.
The impending loss next month of 300 custodial jobs at O’Hare
International Airport has raised concerns over the future relationship
between city leaders and organized labor.
At a meeting held last week at the headquarters of SEIU* Local 1, the Local's President Tom Balanoff sat alongside seven janitors as they
spoke about the impact the loss of their jobs would have on themselves
and their families.
Through a public information request, the Chicago Tribuneobtained Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s daily calendar between January and August of 2012. The Tribune’s focus on the hundreds of pages of documents is almost identical to the Chicago Reader, which did a two-part review of Emanuel’s public schedule between January and November of 2011. In a nutshell, the publications noted that Emanuel meets a lot with business leaders.
Emanuel’s ties with business are important given his policy record of ramming the Infrastructure Trust
through city council in April, a nebulous effort to use private money
for public projects, and expanding his own role as chairman of World Business Chicago, which coordinated the NATO summit in May.
But perusing through the calendar, available on the Tribune Web
site, reveals other elements of Emanuel’s tenure including his national
profile and approach to the Chicago Teachers Union labor dispute.