Tag Archives: chicago

If they work full time why must we allow people to be homeless?

This is what it would take to live in Chicago.

A report published earlier this year by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a minimum-wage earner in Illinois would need to work 82 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom Fair Market Rent apartment. The study also said that in Cook County, a worker must make at least $18.58 an hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

So say you wanted to rent an one-bedroom apartment or a studio? I’m guessing that probably lowers the hourly wage needed to rent a place to fifteen dollars. Clearly, anyone earning the minimum wage of any state will not be able to afford housing so they end up having to take a second job.

From In These Times magazine quoting a homeless employee:

“[Jason’s Deli] gave me full time hours and that’s what I really needed,” says Moore. She adds, however, that in order to save up enough for an apartment, “the only thing left I needed was to get a part-time job, ’cause my income wasn’t enough.”

If that’s not enough of a burden you also have to put up with hostile and abusive situations on the job because it’s either that or homelessness.

This is what happened to Shakita Moore at Jason’s Deli:

But by May, the situation had deteriorated. Moore says a male coworker started making sexual comments to her and wouldn’t stop. When she reported this to her direct supervisor, Moore says, he refused to address the situation. Instead, she alleges that over the course of the next several weeks, the supervisor—a white man—made a series of racist remarks.

This is why organizing food and retail workers are important. There are too many managers in the these two industries who feel they are invincible.

Rahm Emanuel’s no friend to labor

First, Emanuel pledged to make $75 million in cuts to close a current year budget deficit. Emanuel threatened to lay off 625 city workers unless they agreed to rule changes to save the city $50 million.

The Chicago Federation of Labor leadership subsequently released a report, which contains thoughtful proposals that would instead save the city $242 million.

So far the administration has turned a deaf ear and some observers wonder if the bullying is an effort to intimidate labor and turn city residents against public workers instead of demanding sacrifices from big business. Needless to say, relations with the labor movement have been strained.

via Rahm Emanuel’s first 100 days: new style, same substance » peoplesworld.

This is the reason why the AFL-CIO is not as warm to Democrats as they’ve been in the past. For all the tough talk Emmanuel is known for he’s more of a bully than a leader. He can’t stand up to business interests so he takes it out on organized labor. That truthfully sounds cowardly to me. At least you know where governors like Scott Walker et al. stand. They’re anti-union no doubt. But Rahm Emmanuel is a Democrat and what makes him difficult is the fact that while he obviously doesn’t like labor he will still try and placate them when he needs something.

It turns out not everyone wants the Olympics in Chicago

I had no idea that there was a counter movement currently ongoing to protest the efforts to get the Olympics in Chicago in 2016.

Facing sullen opposition to the games – highlighted when many school principals revolted against a school board edict to have the schools fly flags supporting the bid – Mayor Daley pledged that the Games would not cost the taxpayers a dime. The reality is that if Chicago gets these games, and even if there is no massive fraud and sweetheart contracts (a truly ridiculous “if” in this city and state!), City taxpayers will pay for them – the 84% opposed to such funding be damned.

These people obviously are hesitant to foot a bill like this in the midst of the current recession. I saw pictures of someone holding a sign that said “schools first” for example. The only way to evaluate this would be to actually get a good projection on the revenue the city would be able to taken in on the games. If the investment by the taxpayers in the Olympics does not have a significant return to the city then you would have your answer. Furthermore, I’d like to know how many jobs would be created by having the games in this city?

Dunkin’ Donuts deserves this lawsuit

The fact that employees refused to call emergency services is telling. This reminds me of stories I’ve heard of other managers at retail locations refusing to do the same thing when people are injured. It is something that is ingrained in their heads from someone higher up in their respective corporations.

The mother of a man who died in a bathroom at a Northwest Side Dunkin’ Donuts filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company and the franchise owners today.

On a night in June 2007, Simon Chruszcz entered the Dunkin’ Donuts bathroom, and when he didn’t come out for some time, another customer became concerned. The other customer knocked on the door and heard no response and laid down on the ground to look under the door. The customer saw Chruszcz lying on his back and attempted to kick open the restroom door but was yelled at by an employee. The customer then “implored the agents or employees of Dunkin’ Donuts to telephone for help, but they refused,” so he left the restaurant and called 911.

More than two hours after Chruszcz entered the restroom, Chicago Police and Fire Dept arrived and broke down the bathroom door. The man was dead upon arrival to the hospital.

Five year strike the longest active strike in US histroy

This is absolutely amazing.

A strong show of defiance, perhaps, but not nearly as impressive as the resolve exhibited daily by former Congress housekeepers Mercedes Ayvar, Imelda Martinez, Ofelia Rubio, Celia Salgado and Maria Sandoval. Each morning at 6 a.m., the five friends arrive at the picket line outside the Congress and march until 7:30 a.m., when they leave for their new jobs at the downtown Sheraton. From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the women clean 16 rooms each, then return to the Congress to picket from 5 p.m. to 8:40 p.m., before catching one of the final buses leaving downtown.

“There’s been a lot of walking,” a smiling Ayvar said at the rally. “I haven’t sat down in five years.”

The twinkle in her eye suggested she wasn’t planning to do so anytime soon.

If ever you’re in Chicago stay away from the Congress Hotel. It’s amazing that even after these workers went out on strike–after all these years–they never went back. Instead they chose to keep the strike alive at the Congress Hotel.

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