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JLC Marches in Chicago on Labor Day 2017

JLC at Labor Day 2017 Demo in Chicago_4Web.jpg
JLC Executive Director Jonathan D. Rosenbaum (black t-shirt, holding JLC placard), Chicago JLC Area Director Eli Fishman (in the shades), and Chicago JLC Chair Mike Perry (holding JLC placard)

September 4, 2017: Chicago, IL -- Jewish Labor Committee staff and lay-activists joined thousands of union members and other workers fighting for a fair wage and union rights on the job at today’s Fight For $15 Labor Day Rally in Chicago’s Loop. Chicago JLC participated in a Jewish Contingent, along with Chicago’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and the Chicago Workmen’s Circle branch.

Activists at the rally included Moral Monday founder The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, The Reverend Jesse Jackson, former Governor Pat Quinn, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois president Greg Kelley.

The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour. A bill sent by state legislators to Governor Bruce Rauner in May that would have required the state’s hourly minimum wage to go up to $15 over five years was vetoed by Rauner a few weeks ago. Chicago currently has a minimum wage of $11 an hour, which rises to $13 an hour in 2019.

“The JLC supports Illinois workers’ demands for $15 an hour as a minimum living wage, and we call on the state’s leadership to respect workers’ rights to organize and obtain decent working conditions, whether we’re talking about fast food workers or hospital workers," said national JLC Executive Director Jonathan D. Rosenblum. He noted that the majority of hospital workers are not union members. Getting hospitals to respect their employees’ wish to secure union membership was on the agenda of today’s rally. “Now, more than ever,” he added, “the Chicago's Jewish community must take action. Our Jewish values teach us that we must stand strong for just labor practices. That’s why we’re here taking a stand in supporting striking workers and fair wages.”