In the News Archive
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Crain’s Chicago Business
By Claire Bushey
Jesenya Rodriguez couldn’t pay her phone bill or muster the cash to complete her high school correspondence course, but it wasn’t because she didn’t have a job.
Ms. Rodriguez, 20, of Hanover Park, earned $10.22 an hour as a machine operator and packer at Duraco Products Inc., a manufacturer of plastic lawn and garden accessories in Streamwood. Duraco b-egan skipping paychecks in March 2008, workers allege in a lawsuit against company President Kevin Lynch and his brother Michael. In November 2008, Duraco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; it has since converted to Chapter 7.
We’re here for a common goal,” stated Deborah Myers, People United for Change, to her audience. “We want to change what is happening in our community. How can you help us reach this goal in Springfield? That’s what we want from you today.”
People United for Change, along with Warehouse Workers for Justice, organized a meeting of Joliet’s African American organizations to begin constructing an alliance to address according to the group, the abuses found among logistics /warehouse workers in Will County. The meeting, which was held on Saturday at Sacred Heart Church in Joliet, included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Operation People United to Serve Humanity, Unity Community Development Corporation, Joliet Area Church-Based Organized Body, Joliet Black Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the Will County Democratic Party and Black Contractors of Will County.
By Bill Droel
Warehouse Workers for Justice is “the truest labor cause I’ve observed in quite awhile,” says Thomas Garlitz of the Diocese of Joliet Social Justice Ministry.
WWJ attempts to improve conditions far behind the scene of abundantly stocked shelves in Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and similar stores. Although the effort is roundabout and difficult, WWJ is forming groups of warehouse workers to bargain for better treatment, new management policies and legislation.
Working In These Times
by Kari Lydersen
On Friday night Reverend Craig Purchase saw a nature program about aggressive hornets who terrorize bees, slicing the heads off worker bees and gobbling up their hives. But the bees are able to beat the hornets by surrounding them in a suffocatingly hot buzzing “bee ball.”
The show inspired Purchase, the pastor of a suburban Chicago church, for a meeting of warehouse workers and allies that held on Saturday. Part of the Warehouse Workers for Justice campaign, the meeting aimed to bring African-American and Latino warehouse workers together in the fight for decent wages and working conditions and an end to the highly exploitive temporary staffing structure that characterizes the industry…and leaves many workers too afraid to speak up.
by Mary Owen
Warehouse Workers for Justice will hold a public candidate forum for individuals seeking state office Thursday at the Sacred Heart Church in Joliet.
Among the candidates are State Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi, a Democrat from Joliet, and his challenger in the District 43 state Senate race, Cedra Crenshaw, a Bolingbrook Republican.