Hundreds of low-wage Chicago workers and their allies hit the city's downtown streets Tuesday evening to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and other items on their new "voter agenda."
The protest, which started at the Thompson Center and ended with a march to a nearby McDonald's at Clark and Lake streets, was one among many Fight for $15 actions happening Tuesday in 500 U.S. cities.
Fast food and other low-wage workers chanted, "What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!"
Nearly 100 SEIU* Local 1 security officers and their supporters
staged a rally and flash mob at the Thompson Center Wednesday to bring
attention to their campaign for better wages and affordable health care.
Presently, full time security officers can pay up to $1,543 a month for
health insurance coverage for a family of four. In some cases, that
could be more than 80 percent of an officer’s monthly income.
just asking for fair wages, health benefits and [that they] just treat us with
integrity and respect,” said Kenyatta Sinclair, a security officer who has
been on the job for five years. Sinclair, who makes $13.60 an hour,
does not currently have health benefits.
“I would have to
buy my own plan, and I don’t make enough to buy one,” Sinclair explained.
This is the third and final week of collective bargaining before the SEIU* Local 1
security officers’ contracts are set to expire, and despite a
thunderstorm and flood warnings, union members gathered at the Thompson
Center late Wednesday afternoon to rally for higher wages.
“You’re sending a very
strong message today, that no matter what the weather is like you still
demand a good contract,” said Efrain Elias, a union representative for
SEIU Local 1, to a group of approximately 50 demonstrators.
“We are not going to let a little rain slow us up,” he said.
In anticipation of next week’s economic bargaining, members of SEIU* Local 1 staged a protest for higher wages in downtown Chicago Thursday.
It was the third day of bargaining between SEIU and the Building and Owners Management Association (BOMA),
and the two parties were able to come to an agreement and complete the
language portion of contract negotiations. Next week, the union plans to
introduce an economic package that includes a “decent raise increase” during contract negotiations.
than 100 union members called for higher wages as they
rallied at the Thompson Center and marched through downtown Chicago.
want to be able to have money to put aside for my grandson, he and his
mother should not have to suffer,” said Denise Dawson, 60, a security
officer and member of the bargaining committee for SEIU Local 1.
Carrying signs that read “Good Jobs, Safe Chicago” and chanting about
higher wages, security officers represented by the SEIU* Local 1 rallied at the Thompson Center in
downtown Chicago Thursday for a pay increase.
Thursday was the
first day of bargaining with the Building and Owners Management
Association (BOMA) for a new union contract. The rally, attended by
approximately 70 union members, was also in observation of the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assasination.
King lived his life, and lost his life, for a just society,” said
Michelle Jackson, a security officer of seven years at 550 W. Jackson
Blvd., in downtown Chicago.
“We need to do our part and start with working together to create better jobs for our families and our neighborhoods.”
Chicago Public Schools officials say they will spend
$7.7 million to expand the Safe Passage program this fall by hiring
local community groups to provide students impacted by school closures
with a safe transition to their welcoming school.
Citing a lack of economic opportunities as the driving force behind
the high rate of gun violence in Chicago over the last several
years, Illinois 2nd Congressional District candidate Robin
Kelly stood alongside union security officers Saturday to call on the
city’s downtown building owners to provide fairer compensation for their
emergency “first responders.”