Tag Archives: Union

What to know about the Chicago hotel worker strike


Big John and Ramblin’ Ray explain why housekeepers, doormen, cooks, bartenders, room service attendants and more — whose contracts expired Aug. 31 — are on strike. The union that represents the workers, UNITE HERE Local 1, says that 6,000 workers are covered by those expired contracts, though it isn’t clear how many people have actually walked off the job. The strike is happening at 25 downtown Chicago hotels, including the JW Mariott, the Palmer House Hilton, the Hyatt Regency, and the Sheraton Grand. Contracts cover 30 hotels in Chicago, and the five not yet striking are in labor disputes and could join, the union says.

Strikers primary demand to have year-round health insurance guarantee into their new contracts. Learn more on who’s striking and the strike at chicagohotelstrike.org


Public unions new reality after Supreme Court ruling with Janus’ Attorney and Mark Mix

Big John & Ramblin’ Ray talk with Janus’ Attorney Jacob Huebert, and Mark Mix who is the President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. They inform us what is happening after the Supreme Court ruled that non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.

Illinois union to announce strike-authorization vote results

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ largest public-employee union is set to announce the result of a strike-authorization vote.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning.

The union has been unable to agree with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration on a contract to replace one that expired in June 2015.

Employees at work sites across the state voted from Jan. 30 through Sunday. They were asked whether to give the union’s executive committee power to call a strike if necessary.

It’s the first such vote in 40 years of state-employee collective bargaining.

A state labor regulator declared last fall that talks had reached “impasse.” That allows Rauner to implement the employment terms he prefers and the union to strike if it chooses.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CPD union says IPRA investigators don’t meet state requirements

(CHICAGO) The union that represents Chicago Police officers says that investigators hired by the city to look into officer-involved deaths don’t meet the state’s minimum training requirements, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 is asking a court to rule that the city is not in compliance with the requirements of the Illinois Police Training (IPTA) and Police and Community Relations Improvement (PCRIA) acts, according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages and to compel the city to become compliant.

The PCRIA, which took effect Jan. 1, requires at least one of the investigators looking into an officer-involved death be certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board as a lead homicide investigator, or be approved by the board for training of similar standards, the suit states.

The FOP claims the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which investigates officer-involved deaths in Chicago, does not currently, nor did it before, have lead investigators that met the state’s standards, according to the suit.

IRPA will be replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) in mid-2017, according to the suit, which supposes that investigators currently hired by IPRA will similarly be hired by COPA.

The FOP said it doesn’t believe the state board has certified any of IPRA’s investigators as “lead homicide investigators,” according to the suit. The state also has not approved the training obtained by IPRA investigators that would meet the requirements for them to serve as lead investigators, the suit said.

The FOP reached out to the city with their concerns, but city officials told them they believe IPRA’s investigators are in compliance, the suit said.

A request for comment with the city was not immediately returned Thursday night.

O’Hare workers to strike on nationwide ‘Day of Disruption’

(CHICAGO) Organizers of a Nov. 29 nationwide day of protests by hourly workers say a planned strike at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is only a part of their push for a $15 hourly wage and union rights.

In a news release, organizers say thousands of workers plan to walk off the job at McDonald’s restaurants and other fast-food spots in more than 340 cities. The planned “Day of Disruption” marks the fourth anniversary of the first protests at McDonald’s restaurants in New York.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1 said Monday that hundreds of workers will strike that day at O’Hare, one of the nation’s busiest airports.

O’Hare is the only airport where workers plan to strike, though organizers are planning protests at other airports.

The Chicago Department of Aviation says it doesn’t anticipate any disruption in service.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.</em

Chicago teachers approve a strike

(CHICAGO) Members of the Chicago teachers union have voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike. The union says 95 percent of it’s members voted to walk off the job in balloting that took place last week, and over 90 percent cast ballots.

No date has been set for a walkout, which would be the second teacher’s strike in the city in the past four years. By law, the teachers cannot go on strike until at least ten days after a strike date is set.

The teachers have been working under terms of their old contract, which expired last year. Negotiations are continuing on a new pact, after the Board of Education passed a budget that is heavily contingent on state funding which may not materialize amid the budget standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The CTU House of Delegates is set to meet this Wednesday.

@ 2016 WLS-AM News

Appeals court grapples with unions, free speech, giant rats

(CHICAGO) Enormous rats are making their way through the federal court system. But they’re not wet-nosed, living rodents. They’re rubber, inflatable ones.

Unions deploy such rat replicas outside businesses they have disputes with, and Chicago’s 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month addressed whether restricting their use violates free-speech rights.

A lower court sided with Grand Chute, Wisconsin, ruling safety and construction ordinances justified the town’s removal of a 15-foot rat outside a car dealership. Chicago’s higher court nixed that finding and returned the case for further litigation.

Appeals court Judge Richard Posner partially dissented. He called for a decisive finding the town violated the union’s free-speech rights. He wrote some may find the blow-up rats “repulsive” but that they’re clearly “akin to a political poster,” so constitute protected speech.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Schaumburg contractor charged with underpaying union workers

(CHICAGO) The owner of a northwest suburban Schaumburg construction company has been charged with fraud for allegedly underpaying union employees and underfunding their pensions.

Joseph Lampignano, 43, of Itasca, is charged with one count of mail fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Lampignano, co-owner of A Lamp Concrete Contractors Inc., assigned workers to government-funded road construction projects without paying them the union-negotiated wage rate. He is accused of underpaying workers by more than $1.5 million between 2008 and 2013.

Over the same period, Lampignano submitted false reports to the union’s pension and welfare funds which underreported the number of hours some of the laborers worked, according to prosecutors. These reports lowered the amount of contributions the company was required to make to the funds by more than $1 million.

Lampignano and his superintendent, 46-year-old Giovanni “John” Traversa of Bartlett, are also accused of making employees repay the company part of the settlements they received from a civil lawsuit over unpaid wages, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The company paid $545,357 to 24 employees as part of a lawsuit brought by the union, prosecutors said. Prosecutors claim Lampignano and Traversa used their positions of authority to solicit kickbacks totaling at least $64,000 from employees who received settlement funds.

The fraud charge against Lampignano is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said. Traversa was also charged with one count of making false statements to the FBI and the U.S. labor department’s inspector general’s office, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Both men are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis on May 24.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is being sued over pension changes

(Chicago)  Mayor Rahm Emanuel is being sued over pension changes.

Four labor unions representing current and retired white collar city workers, teachers, nurses & teamsters claim Rahm’s remedy is unconstitutional.

That’s because it cuts benefits and the state constitution says he can’t do that.  

But Rahm argues it is constitutional and vital to saving their pensions.  A couple of years ago he was confident enough about it that he said, “People are not happy with the status quo and they’re not too excited about change either.  So ya got ‘em right where you want ‘em! (laughter).”

Nobody’s laughing now though as this case and another like it for state workers are vulnerable in court.  

Bill Cameron, 89 WLS News