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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Chicago Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Wages On Global Day Of Action (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers hit the picket lines Thursday as part of a massive, worldwide day of strikes for higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. Progress Illinois provides a snapshot of some of the day's protests.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Fri Apr 25, 2014

Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Coalition To Push For $15 Minimum Wage

While legislation to lift the state's minimum wage has been pending in the legislature for some time now, Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he and his fellow Progressive Reform Coalition council members are working to drum up support for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

At a minimum wage forum Thursday night hosted by Action Now’s “Faith in Action” coalition in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Sawyer said the council's progressive caucus is looking to put forward a $15 minimum wage ordinance, though the details are still in the works. 

The first step, Sawyer said, is to get more aldermen and residents involved in the discussion.

"I think (raising the minimum wage is) a basic level of respect to your constituents that are working out here hard," he told Progress Illinois. "I was at one function where a young lady worked 10 years at McDonald's and she talked about how she can't even afford the food to eat where she works. So it's frustrating, and we need to get these wages to a level where they are respectable to the citizens."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:25pm
Tue Feb 25, 2014

Illinois Faith Leaders Host Prayer Vigil, Pledge Support For A ‘Fair' Income Tax

Faith leaders from across the Chicago area gathered in the city Tuesday to host a prayer vigil and call on legislators to pass a graduated income tax rate in the state of Illinois.

“Flat tax structures are inherently unjust, as they disproportionately put the load on those who can least afford it,” said Bishop Wayne Miller, of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Assembled at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, located at 77 W. Washington St., nearly 50 faith leaders, including pastors, bishops, rabbis and imams, signed pledges in support of a “fair” tax, which would implement higher tax rates for those with higher income levels, and lower rates for people who bring in less income.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:46pm
Mon Feb 3, 2014

Fired Chicago Snarf's Workers Reach Settlement With Sandwich Shop Company

Fourteen former Chicago Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were abruptly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location have reached a settlement with the Denver-based sandwich chain.

The fired employees, who were given pink slips on December 22, received a month's worth of back pay on Monday and have been guaranteed that they can have their jobs back once the River North restaurant reopens after a remodel. It is not known, however, how many of the 14 Snarf's employees will actually go back to work at the River North restaurant once it reopens.

The sandwich shop, located at 600 W. Chicago Ave., is being converted into one of Snarf's burger-concept chains, and it could reopen as early as mid-February, the former workers said. Snarf's officials say the change in the restaurant's model is in response to “increased competition and losses.”

The recent settlement follows multiple protests that the discharged Snarf's workers and their supporters, including the Worker’s Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), have held against the "unjust" firings.

"Our goal was to send a strong message that we're not going to tolerate this kind of treatment," said Kevin Brown, 25, one of the fired River North sandwich makers. "We know that we were fired in an unjust manner, and we want to make sure that we get justice out of the situation, and we think we did through the settlement."

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