Tune in to facebook live to see the giveaway! Click the link below!
The benefits of a safety-focused workforce are priceless, which is why Chicago Area LECET is deeply committed to helping make the construction industry as safe as possible for Laborers and all construction workers.
Our Safety Incentive Program (SIP) is our own unique way to contribute to the safety culture on union job sites. The key word there is INCENTIVE…quite simply we reward qualifying laborers with amazing prizes for staying safe on the job.
You can view the details of exactly how the program works here, but here are some other details you might find interesting…
That’s right. We give away a $25,000+ truck every single year to a Laborer.
That’s what we call incentive.
Laborers: The most important thing you can do to win these awards is to STAY SAFE. If you lose time on the job due to an accident, you are not eligible for the awards.
Contractors: If you want your Laborers to win these awards, please participate in our program by nominating them when you are notified by LECET! It’s the only way they can become eligible to be chosen.
Thank you to all sponsors and participants!
Photo and Link credits:
Volunteers are needed to canvass neighborhoods and phone bank for Congressman Dan Lipinski now through the Primary Election on March 20, 2018. There are only 18 days left until the Primary Election and Dan needs your help to push him over the finish line.
Where: 8381 S. Archer Ave., Willow Springs IL
When: Saturdays at 10:00am & Sundays at 12:00pm
*Every weekend between now and Election Day
Phone Banking Shifts
Where: 8381 S. Archer Ave., Willow Springs IL
When: Monday-Thursday, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00am to 3:00pm
*Every day except Friday now through Election Day
Contact: Jerry Hurckes (312) 215-1111
Photo Credit: http://www.lipinskiforcongress.com/campaignnews.html
For the March 20 Primary Election, Chicago voters will be able to use Early Voting & Registration from Feb. 21 through March 19.
Ballots cast in Early Voting are final. After casting ballots in Early Voting, voters may not return to amend, change or undo a ballot for any reason. It is a felony to vote more than once — or to attempt to vote more than once — in the same election.
Government-issued photo ID is not required but is helpful if there is a question about the voter’s registration, address, signature or if there are two voters with the same or similar names at the same address.
Registration services are available at Early Voting sites. NOTE: Any voter who needs to register for the first time or file an address update or a name change must show two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter’s current address.
Locations & Hours
Feb. 21 thru March 4: Early Voting & Registration Only at Loop Super Site at 16 W. Adams (NEW LOCATION)
Wed., Feb. 21 – Sat., Feb. 24: 9 am-5 pm – only at 16 W. Adams
Sun., Feb. 25: 10 am-4 pm – only at 16 W. Adams
Mon., Feb. 26 – Sat., March 3: 9 am-5 pm – only at 16 W. Adams
Sun., March 4: 10 am-4 pm – only at 16 W. Adams
March 5 thru March 19 – Early Voting & Registration at all 51 locations listed below
Mon., March 5 – Sat., March 10: 9 am-5 pm
Sun., March 11: 10 am-4 pm
Mon., March 12 – Fri., March 16: 9 am-7 pm
Sat., March 17: 9 am-5 pm
Sun., March 18: 10 am-4 pm
Mon., March 19: 9 am-5 pm (On March 19, the six “permanent sites” will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Loop Super Site/Election Board Annex (NEW LOCATION) 16 W Adams (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 1 Goldblatt’s Bldg 1615 W Chicago
Ward 2 Near North Library 310 W Division
Ward 3 Hall Branch Library 4801 S Michigan
Ward 4 King Community Ctr. 4314 S Cottage Grove (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 5 Jackson Park 6401 S Stony Island
Ward 6 Dist. 3 Police Station 7040 S Cottage Grove
Ward 7 Jeffrey Manor Library 2401 E 100th St
Ward 8 Olive Harvey College 10001 S Woodlawn
Ward 9 Palmer Park 201 E 111th St
Ward 10 Vodak/Eastside Library 3710 E 106th St
Ward 11 Dist. 9 Police Station 3120 S Halsted
Ward 12 McKinley Park 2210 W Pershing
Ward 13 West Lawn Park 4233 W 65th St
Ward 14 Archer Heights Library 5055 S Archer
Ward 15 Gage Park 2411 W 55th St
Ward 16 Lindbloom Park 6054 S Damen
Ward 17 Thurgood Marshall Library 7506 S Racine
Ward 18 Wrightwood Ashburn Library 8530 S Kedzie
Ward 19 Mount Greenwood Park 3721 W 111th St (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 20 Bessie Coleman Library 731 E 63rd St
Ward 21 Foster Park 1440 W 84th St
Ward 22 Toman Library 2708 S Pulaski
Ward 23 Clearing Branch Library 6423 W 63rd Pl
Ward 24 St. Agatha Parish 3147 W Douglas Blvd
Ward 25 Chinatown Library 2100 S Wentworth
Ward 26 Humboldt Pk Library 1605 N Troy
Ward 27 Union Park 1501 W Randolph
Ward 28 W. Side Learning Ctr 4624 W Madison (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 29 Amundsen Park 6200 W Bloomingdale
Ward 30 Kilbourn Park 3501 N Kilbourn
Ward 31 Portage Cragin Library 5108 W Belmont
Ward 32 Bucktown-Wicker Park Library 1701 N Milwaukee
Ward 33 McFetridge Sports Ctr 3843 N California
Ward 34 W Pullman Library 830 W 119th
Ward 35 NEIU El Centro 3390 N Avondale
Ward 36 West Belmont Library 3104 N Narragansett
Ward 37 West Chicago Av Library 4856 W Chicago
Ward 38 Hiawatha Park 8029 W Forest Preserve
Ward 39 North Park Vill. Admin. 5801 N Pulaski
Ward 40 Budlong Woods Library 5630 N Lincoln
Ward 41 Roden Library 6083 N Northwest Highway (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 42 Museum/Brdcst Communications 360 N State
Ward 43 Lincoln Park Library 1150 W Fullerton
Ward 44 John Merlo Library 644 W Belmont
Ward 45 Dist. 16 Police Station 5151 N Milwaukee
Ward 46 Truman College 1145 W Wilson
Ward 47 Welles Park 2333 W Sunnyside (On March 19, this site will remain open thru 7 pm.)
Ward 48 Edgewater Library 6000 N Broadway
Ward 49 Pottawattomie Park 7340 N Rogers
Ward 50 Warren Park 6601 N Western
University Early Voting – To be open March 14-16, 10 am-5 pm
Chicago State Univ. 9501 S M L King Dr
UIC Student Center 750 S Halsted
Northeastern Ill. Univ. 5500 N St Louis
My name is Kim Akins, and I am a special education classroom assistant with Chicago Public Schools. When I was a little girl, my father would take me to his union meetings, and it was there that I was first educated on the value of a union.
I am a steward at my workplace because I feel that becoming a leader in my union is vital to my livelihood.
On Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, a lawsuit initiated by you, Gov. Rauner, and your friends. The case seeks to destroy our ability to come together effectively to advocate for the special needs children we serve. By weakening our collective voice, it will result in more short staffing and higher turnover.
When the Supreme Court rules on the Janus case next spring, it is expected that they will say that public employees may no longer bargain for contracts that require all workers to pay their fair share of representation costs. Once the court has ruled, only union memberswill have to sup‐ port the union financially, but the union will be required to provide representation to all employ‐ ees whether they belong to the union or not.
Make no mistake, the education of our most vulnerable children will suffer. America needs unions because union jobs are good jobs that build thriving communities. When working people, like me and my co- workers, stick together in our union, we gain the power in numbers to raise wages, safeguard basic needs like health care coverage, and make life better for ourselves and our families.
We know we have each others’ backs. We aren’t alone.
Gov. Rauner, I won’t let you or your friends take away my pension, health insurance and job security. As a member of SEIU Local 73, I have signed up all of my coworkers as full union members and have gone beyond my worksite to Chicago Park District employees to sign them up as well. I am empowered by our unity because we are standing together.
Many workers who don’t have a union yet are fighting hard to join together. Fast food workers, airport attendants, home care workers and other hard- working women and men have united to demand $15 an hour and a union to fight back against unjust and unsafe management practices. It’s a movement that isn’t about one workplace, or one job, it’s about creating good jobs that lift up entire communities.
Now isn’t the time to make it harder to join together for power in numbers through a union.
According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, union members earn 10 to 20 percent higher wages than those who work similar, but nonunion, jobs. The impact is even greater for women, Latinos and AfricanAmerican men. The higher wage standard also boosts annual pay for all workers by about $1,558 in states that have a larger proportion of union members.
Gains like these make rich and powerful extremists nervous. People like you, Gov. Rauner. It’s why you’re concocting a well- funded campaign to divide us as workers and limit the power in numbers we have together in our union.
On Feb. 26, we will continue the proud history of the working women and men before us who paved the way for workers to have power in numbers in our union. In communities big and small, from coast to coast, workers like me will be rising up at actions and protests.
I’ll be joining my co- workers, our allies and Fight for 15 activists at Daley Plaza. Together, we’re calling on our elected leaders to take action to help all working people have the opportu‐ nity to join together in unions and have the strength to improve our jobs, our families’ lives and our communities.
History shows that we are stronger together. While big corporations and billionaires rig the rules to make it difficult for workers to use our power in numbers, we pledge to stick together. No court case, no legislation, no propaganda campaign can stop us.
Gov. Rauner, I won’t let you and people like you disrupt my peace.
Chicago Sun‑Times · 26 Feb 2018 · BY KIM AKINS
Kim Akins is a special education classroom assistant with the Chicago Public Schools and amember of SEIU Local 73.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Monday in a case that’sbeing billed as a potentially devastating blow to organized labor in the U.S. In Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, the justices will decide whether laws in 22 states and the District of Columbia that allow public-sector unions to charge nonmembers fees for collective-bargaining activities violate the employees’ free-speech rights.
Supporters of the fees — including many Democrats, who receive fundingfrom the labor movement — warn that such a decision could decimate unions’ economic power and hurt workers as a result, while anti-union forces on the right say that these fears are overblown. But we don’t really know what would happen in the long term if those fees were struck down, because the research doesn’t paint a clear picture either way.
Economic theory does suggest an answer. For many economists, these fees — known as “agency” fees or “fair share” fees — are a necessary solution to a classic economic dilemma known as “free ridership.” The thinking goes that because unions are required to advocate on behalf of all workers, not just their members, there’s no reason for individual workers to pay for a benefit they could get for free. And if enough workers stopped paying dues, according to this reasoning, the unions would shrink, causing problems for the workers they support. But we can’t always tell if the theory matches up with what happens in the real world. In the case of union fees, that’s largely because there’s no straightforward method that will allow the direct effects of the change to be observed.
Unionization rates are generally lower across the board in states that have scrapped contribution requirements for public- and private-sector unions, known as “right-to-work” states. But critics of the fees say that doesn’t mean that ending the mandatory fees is directly responsible for the decline of unions — or that some loss of union membership can justify restrictions on workers’ free-speech rights. They argue that public-sector unions will survive in the absence of mandatory payments since they still exist in right-to-work states and that the unions can retain a significant percentage of the workforce as members even without requiring all workers to pay fees.
The issue of free ridership was also at play 40 years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that the fees were constitutional for public-sector unions. Although it wasn’t the central issue in that case, the court said the fees “counteract” free riding. Today’s justices are divided on how heavily to weigh this concern: In previous cases involving public-sector dues, Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, wrote that free-rider arguments are “generally insufficient to overcome First Amendment objections,” while Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal, argued that “endemic free-riding” continues to provide justification for requiring payments from non-members.
In this case, the justices are being asked to overturn the precedent set in Abood, and it seems likely that they will.1 Critics of the unions say the problem isn’t free riders — it’s “forced riders” like plaintiff Mark Janus.
“Are you really receiving a benefit when you’re being required to pay to support a view that you disagree with?” said Robert Alt, president of the Buckeye Institute, a right-leaning think tank in Ohio. He argued that even though unions may see an initial loss in revenue, they can attract membership and stay influential in ways that don’t involve a forced payment.
But Richard Freeman, an economist at Harvard University, said that if Janus prevails, he expects significant numbers of public-sector employees to “bail out” over time and leave the unions with less revenue and workers with less support. “The unions might not disappear, but their power will be really diminished,” he said. That’s worrying, he said, because without strong unions, workers could see a decline in benefits and wages.
It’s difficult to figure out which workers are forced riders and which are free riders — and it’s also challenging to determine what the impact of removing agency fees would actually be. To make their arguments, both sides in the case being heard Monday are drawing on a natural experiment that has been going on in the states for years — by comparing right-to-work and non-right-to-work states and by examining the results of states changing their policies on union fees. As with many natural experiments, though, disentangling the effects of a single policy difference from the myriad forces affecting something like wage growth can be nearly impossible.
Since 2012, six states have enacted “right-to-work” legislation that prohibits employment contracts from requiring union dues as a condition of employment. Twenty-two additional states have similar but less recent laws, while 22 states do not have right-to-work laws.
Individual studies have produced what seem like decisive answers to the question of what happens when the agency-fee requirement is removed — but taken together, they don’t present a coherent narrative. Part of the problem is that when economists design studies to address this question, controlling for all the right factors is difficult. Right-to-work policies, for starters, exist alongside other pro-business policies, and disentangling whether a loss in, say, manufacturing jobs is related to the decline of the unions or something like competition from abroad is tricky.
A 2011 study from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute examined differences between right-to-work states and states without right-to-work policies, controlling for the demographic and job characteristics of workers, as well as state-level economic conditions and differences in the cost of living. That study found that wages in right-to-work states are 3.2 percent lower than wages in non-right-to-work states. A 2007 study by a professor at Hofstra University found, similarly, that employment and wages were lower in right-to-work states.
But another study, which controlled for economic conditions at the time the states adopted right-to-work, found that right-to-work laws were associated with higher wages in most cases. And other research has found that employment may be higher in right-to-work states, at least in some sectors. There may also be some variation by industry and worker demographics: For example, an examination of right-to-work laws in the Midwest found that they decreased wages for workers with two- or four-year college degrees, but had little to no impact for workers with graduate degrees or only high school degrees.
A review of the empirical evidence surrounding right-to-work laws conducted by the Congressional Research Service in 2014 concluded that “even the most sophisticated studies are unable to fully isolate the effects” of different agency-fee policies.
There is a general consensus among experts and advocates — including some opponents of the required payments — that if agency fees are struck down, public-sector unions will probably lose members and face diminished revenues in the short term. But some economists believe unions may be able to adapt and innovate in response, from changing how they negotiate agreements to the broader employment services they provide.
“It seems like the unions might have to morph into a new kind of organization,” Freeman said. “There’s no doubt they’ll be weakened in the short term. The question is whether they’ll be able to come back from that and continue offering substantial benefits to workers.”
Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux is a writer and reporter living in Chicago. @ameliatd
Union workers rallied Monday in front of the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza to denounce a lawsuit being heard that morning in the U.S. Supreme Court — a case they called an open-and-shut case of union busting.
“This court case was cynically designed to try and weaken the voices and power of working people,” said Kimberly Smith, a healthcare administrator and member of Service Employees International Union, Healthcare Illinois-Indiana, one of the organizers of the rally.
“In fact, destroying the union movement is what motivates [Gov. Bruce] Rauner — it’s all he thinks about before he goes to bed,” Smith told a cheering crowd of about 100.
The case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, involves an Illinois worker, Mark Janus, and what are called “fair share” fees.
Currently, unions are allowed to collect those fees from workers who are not dues-paying members of the union. The feel help pay for collective bargaining and other work the union does that benefits all employees covered by the contract, whether they are dues-paying members or not.
Janus, however, disagrees with some of the political stances taken by his union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Janus and conservatives who are backing his lawsuit, argue that everything unions representing public employees do is political, including contract negotiations.
Labor leaders fear that not only would workers who don’t belong to a union stop paying fees, but that some union members might decide to stop paying dues if they could in essence get the union’s representation for free.
Rauner, an opponent of “fair share” fees, was in Washington to attend oral arguments in the case before the Supreme Court.
In Chicago, attendees at the rally handed out Proud Union Home signs for passersby to put in their windows or front yards.
Smith noted that Rauner boasted he’d be in the audience to hear arguments on the case before the Supreme Court Monday in the nation’s capital.
“But you know what? We will be Governor Rauner’s worst nightmare come election day on November 6,” Smith said.
SEIU-Healthcare and SEIU-Local 1, two of the unions who helped organize the rally, are part of a group of unions and other investors holding ownership stakes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Photo Credit: Union members and supporters rallied at Daley Plaza on Monday.
| Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times