Illinois

CPS Custodians Rally for Clean and Safe Schools for Students and Teachers at CPS Board Meeting

CPS Custodians Rally for Clean and Safe Schools for Students and Teachers at CPS Board Meeting

CPS custodians bargaining for new contract fight for the staffing, resources and supplies they need to keep schools healthy and safe for students and teachers  

CHICAGO — On Wednesday, March 21, Chicago Public School (CPS) custodians, holding mops and bottles of iconic cleaning product Fabuloso, rallied for fabulous and clean schools outside Wednesday’s CPS Board meeting. Custodians both inside and outside the board meeting urged CPS to support the 2,000 hardworking custodians who are currently in contract negotiations with contractors Aramark, RJB, Gerelex and more.

“Too many CPS custodians do not receive the proper staffing or supplies we need to keep schools healthy and clean for students and teachers,” said SEIU Local 1 Custodian Maxine Gladney. “It’s time contractors start valuing our work and offering us the resources we need to do our jobs.”

Without guarantees of proper staffing levels or supplies, many CPS custodians struggle to keep schools as clean and healthy as possible. Many custodians buy supplies like Fabuloso with money out of their own pockets because they are deeply dedicated to their schools and students. Custodians are also fighting for a dignified wage that reflects the valuable work they do as well as more sick days to prevent illness from spreading in schools.

These issues can be addressed with a strong new contract that guarantees proper staffing, supplies, sick days and a dignified wage for CPS custodians. The current contract for custodians expires on April 8. Custodians urged the CPS Board to stand with them as they bargain with contractors for cleaner schools and a better future for their communities.

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Local 1 Celebrates The Women Who Make Chicago Work!

On International Women’s Day, hundreds of Local 1 women janitors and custodians who clean our Chicagoland offices, schools and public buildings rallied with their allies as #WomenRise for good jobs and a strong new contract!

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward) were among the elected leaders who joined the celebration to support the women who make Chicago work!

Local 1’s women members kicked off their contract campaign on behalf of 12,000 Chicago-area janitors, 70 percent of whom are women.

It was a great event and an empowering day! Women rise! ¡Mujeres guerreras! Silne kobiety!

Check out some of the fantastic media coverage from the event:

Univision: http://bit.ly/2FoicRF

Telemundo: http://bit.ly/2txWyEM

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Chicago Airport Workers Grow Their Movement To Join Local 1!

Worker leaders at Chicago O’Hare International Airport continue to reaffirm their commitment to a better future with SEIU Local 1. At a recent convention, the worker leaders expressed excitement and optimism for their journey ahead in the fight for economic justice at Chicago’s airports!

Check out video from the convention:

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SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Marie Newman for Congress

SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Marie Newman for Congress

Progressive labor union represents more than 150,000 janitors, security officers, health care and home care workers, public employees and more throughout Illinois, including more than 10,000 in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. 

CHICAGO – Today, the SEIU Illinois State Council announced its  endorsement of Marie Newman in the state’s March 20 Democratic primary. Newman is running to unseat longtime incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

While Illinois working families are struggling to make ends meet, Congressman Lipinski told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board that he did not support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. His refusal to stand with working families for a higher minimum wage, along with his votes against the Affordable Care Act, legal protections for immigrant families and a woman’s right to choose shows how clearly out of step Congressman Lipinski is with the progressive values of his constituents. Unlike Lipinski, Newman will be a progressive champion in Washington for the 3rd District’s working families by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, advocating for immigrant families, protecting a woman’s right to choose and expanding access to affordable health care.

“Congressman Lipinski’s refusal to support a $15 minimum wage for working people shows how deeply out of touch he is with the working families of his district,” said SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff. “Whether it’s voting against Obamacare or voting for restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, it is clear Congressman Lipinski does not share the progressive values of his constituents. SEIU is proud to join a long list of progressive leaders and organizations in endorsing Marie Newman for Congress.”

“Every day, our members get up to do very hard work to deliver quality health care and child care services to those who depend on us. Unfortunately, not enough of our elected officials in Washington are doing what’s necessary to help these workers improve their lives,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana President Greg Kelley. “I’m standing here today to support Marie Newman for the 3rd District Congressional seat for the state of Illinois precisely because we need someone to represent us in Washington who will not quiver or equivocate on the issues that are so important to working families.”

“When you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a shot at the American Dream. That is a value I share with the 10,000 SEIU members who are the very backbone of our community here in the Third district. For far too long, Dan Lipinski has turned a blind eye to hardworking Illinois families ignoring his responsibility to fight to give them a chance,” said Marie Newman. “I will never turn my back on our working families, rather, I will fight tirelessly to make sure workers can survive on a livable wage, starting at $15 an hour, have access to affordable and quality healthcare and Medicare for all, and can access their earned benefits like Social Security and have respect and dignity in the workplace. I could not be more honored to have the support of SEIU and I look forward to working alongside them as a partner to make sure no matter who you are or where you come from if you work hard you will have a fighting chance at success.”

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The SEIU Illinois State Council represents more than 150,000 working people, including home care and child care providers, security officers, janitors, as well as public employees, medical professionals, first responders and social service workers. SEIU members are winning better wages, health care, and more secure jobs, while ensuring that working people, not just the wealthy and well-connected, benefit from today’s economy.

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SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Congress

SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Congress

Garcia will be a strong progressive voice in Congress for economic justice, immigrant rights

CHICAGO – The SEIU Illinois State Council, which represents 150,000 janitors, home and health care workers, higher education faculty, security officers, doorstaff, public employees, and more today announced its endorsement of Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to replace outgoing Representative Luis Gutierrez in Illinois’ 4th Congressional District.

“Now, more than ever, we need a strong progressive voice in Congress to stand up for working people and fight back against the backwards priorities of the Trump Administration,” said SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff. “With his commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15, expanding affordable health care access and protecting immigrant rights, Chuy Garcia will be that progressive leader for the working families of Illinois.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of 150,000 janitors, home care and child care workers, security officers, doorstaff, public employees, and social service workers of the SEIU Illinois State Council,” said Garcia. “As Congressman, I will work with SEIU members and other allies in the labor movement to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected. This starts with raising the minimum wage to $15 indexed to CPI, supporting immigrant communities,  and ensuring more working families have access to quality, affordable health care.”

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The SEIU Illinois State Council represents more than 150,000 working people, including home care and child care providers, security officers, janitors, as well as public employees, medical professionals, first responders and social service workers. SEIU members are winning better wages, health care, and more secure jobs, while ensuring that working people, not just the wealthy and well-connected, benefit from today’s economy.

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O’Hare Airport Worker Fights Against Trump’s Travel Ban

Chicago airport worker and Syrian refugee Mohammad Al Zayed is fighting against the Trump administration’s unjust travel ban.

Al Zayed, a janitor at O’Hare Airport, talked to the Associated Press on December 3 about how the travel ban would impact him and his family.

The article ran in The Washington Post and hundreds of other news outlets worldwide!

Fight over Trump travel restrictions back to appeals courts

(Ted S. Warren, File/Associated Press)

SEATTLE — For most of the time Syrian refugee Mohammad Al Zayed has been in the United States, judges have been wrestling with the Trump administration’s efforts to impose travel restrictions that he says would keep him from seeing relatives who remain overseas.

It’s taken an emotional toll — one that continues this week as two U.S. appeals courts take up the issue yet again.

“It’s been 10 months, and we’re stuck,” Al Zayed, a janitor at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, said through an Arabic interpreter. “We can’t go back. We can’t bring our loved ones here.”

Citing national security concerns, President Donald Trump announced his initial travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority nations in late January, bringing havoc and protests to airports around the country. A federal judge in Seattle soon halted that ban as discriminatory, and since then, the restrictions have been up to the U.S. Supreme Court and back down to the federal district courts as the administration has rewritten them.

The third and latest version targets about 150 million potential travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

The administration said the latest ban is based on assessments of each country’s security situation and their willingness to share information about travelers. But judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked it to varying degrees just before it was due to take effect in October. The judges found that the ban appears impermissibly discriminatory, has no legitimate national security purpose and violates U.S. immigration law.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Seattle on the government’s appeal of the Hawaii judge’s ruling. The panel has already narrowed that decision to allow the administration to bar travelers who do not have a “bona fide” relationship with people or organizations already in the U.S. — an approach that echoed the Maryland judge’s ruling as well as an earlier travel ban decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

A full complement of 13 judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is due to hear the government’s appeal in the Maryland case on Friday in Richmond, Virginia.

[…]

Al Zayed, 50, arrived in the U.S. via Jordan in September 2016 with his wife, two sons and daughter after fleeing horrific fighting in Syria, which destroyed the textile factory where he worked and prevented his children from attending school. Al Zayed’s case is among several laid out in friend-of-the-court briefs filed by labor organizations opposed to the travel ban.

Al Zayed says he’s afraid he wouldn’t be able to return if he visited family overseas. His two brothers and parents remain in Syria, and he’s afraid he’ll never see his 85-year-old father again if the travel ban is upheld. Nevertheless, he says he’s happy to be here.

“Syria was very difficult — an impossible life for us,” he said. “So despite that they have the Muslim ban, I think, ‘Thank God that we are here.’”

Read the full article over at The Washington Post.

 

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Joined By DePaul University Students and Faculty, Building Security Officers Who Secure DePaul Hold Unfair Labor Practice Strike

Joined By DePaul University Students and Faculty, Building Security Officers Who Secure DePaul Hold Unfair Labor Practice Strike

After gathering more than 1,000 student signatures, students joined security officers to demand that DePaul’s administration support good jobs by replacing Guardian Security Services, Inc.

CHICAGO  — On Tuesday morning, DePaul University students, faculty, community allies and SEIU Local 1 joined non-union Guardian Security Services, Inc. officers as they went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike.

Guardian Security is the security contractor for DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus. Students, allies and non-union officers called on DePaul’s administration to replace Guardian Security with a responsible union contractor, which the university uses for janitors and security officers at four other campus sites.  

The officers’ campaign has strong support from allies and the community, with more than 1,000 students on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus signing a petition calling for their university to hire a contractor that prioritizes the safety of the campus over profits.

“This issue directly affects me and my fellow DePaul students because it’s our safety that is at stake, and it is our tuition dollars that pay for the security contractor on our campus,” said Alex Boutros, a senior at DePaul. “We’re here today to call on the DePaul administration to do the right thing: Stop taking advantage of these workers and hire a responsible security contractor that respects its workers and gives them a voice on the job.”

From alleged gender and racial discrimination to trouble with the National Labor Relations Board, Guardian Security has shown itself to be an irresponsible contractor. Many Guardian Security officers live in poverty and struggle to pay for basic needs, like groceries and CTA passes.

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU 1) unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest, including janitors, security officers, higher education faculty, food service workers and others. Local 1 is committed to improving the lives of its members and all working people by winning real economic justice and standing at the forefront of the fight for immigrant, racial and environmental justice.

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O’Hare Airport Worker Attends D.C. Convention: ‘It Was A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience’

As a wheelchair attendant at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, I help organize my fellow coworkers as we fight with SEIU Local 1 for $15 and union rights. Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to learn from fellow airport workers in Washington, D.C. as we came together for a one-day convention to develop our organizing skills and strategize in our fight.

I joined airport worker leaders from Philadelphia and Portland as we encouraged our D.C. brothers and sisters to keep fighting! I spoke on a panel about our recent Chicago airport victory in which a Local 1-backed ordinance passed, giving 8,000 O’Hare and Midway airport workers higher wages and union rights. During the panel, we discussed the importance of leadership in our workplace. I told my fellow airport workers that if we treat our coworkers with respect and dignity, our team should never break.

Check out video from the convention:

As my first ever trip to D.C., the convention was a powerful, once-in-a-lifetime experience to see our nation’s capital and meet workers who, just like me, are fighting for a better future. At O’Hare, I work for a company called Prospect Airport Services, and coincidentally, my D.C. roommate was a Prospect wheelchair attendant from Philadelphia. We bonded over our experiences and were able to explore D.C. together.

We saw the White House and toured D.C.’s iconic monuments, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. MLK’s quotes at the memorial were so moving. We plan to apply his words of wisdom in our fight for economic justice. It’s great to know that I am making a difference, not just for myself and my coworkers, but for airport workers across the country.

Danny Rodriguez works for Prospect Airport Services as a wheelchair attendant at O’Hare Airport. With support from Local 1, he’s been helping lead his fellow airport workers in the Fight for $15 and union rights.
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Puerto Ricans And Allies, Including Ald. Roberto Maldonado And SEIU Local 1, Rally In Chicago To Demand President Trump And Congress Provide Real Relief And Rebuilding After Hurricane Maria

Puerto Ricans and Allies, Including Ald. Roberto Maldonado and SEIU Local 1, Rally In Chicago to Demand President Trump and Congress Provide Real Relief and Rebuilding After Hurricane Maria

Day of action across the U.S. called on federal authorities to move on immediate relief to the island and cancel Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in public debt

CHICAGO – Puerto Rican leaders, community allies and Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) rallied today to demand immediate and sufficient federal aid to relieve and rebuild hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, including eliminating the island’s $72 billion in public debt, which is currently under review in federal bankruptcy court.

At the rally outside Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s offices, members of Vamos4PR—the coalition of community, labor and civil rights organizations fighting for a fair economy for all Puerto Ricans—drew attention to the banks that helped create the Puerto Rican debt crisis and insist on continuing to profit in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Merrill Lynch was a leading underwriter for nearly 90 percent of Puerto Rico’s borrowings, reaping billions in fees from a distressed economy.

“Instead of thinking about how the island would need resources for the immense rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts it faces, the banks that have profited from the debt crisis expect to get more,” said Janeida Fuentes, the Chicago coordinator of the National Boricua Human Rights Network and a member of The Puerto Rican Agenda. “It’s immoral to insist that before Puerto Rican families can rebuild their homes, hospitals, schools and roads, they must first pay back the banks.”

The rally was part of a day of action in a dozen U.S. cities to highlight the plight of 3.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico who have no electricity and drinking water, face shortages in fuel and food and are dealing with severely crippled telecommunications.

Vamos4PR members called on the federal government to provide Puerto Rico with all the aid it needs and eliminate the island’s public debt.

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BACKGROUND: For information on the Puerto Rican debt crisis and the bankruptcy case click here: http://bit.ly/2jYicND

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Jel Sert Workers Win!

After months of coming together and showing their strength at the negotiation table, nearly 1,000 Jel Sert operators, mechanics, janitors, and clerks overwhelmingly ratified a strong new contract that provides financial security and a brighter future for themselves and their families.

The new contract will guarantee higher wages, better benefits, and a respect on the job. With their strong new contract, Jel Sert members will be better able to support their families and strengthen West Chicago.

These gains are a result of them coming together in the fight for economic justice. Jel Sert workers showed how coming together in their union helps working people win financial security and dignity at work. Jel Sert operators, mechanics, janitors, and clerks will continue to work hard to provide quality products for consumers and their West Chicago communities!

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