Giving back to the community

Giving back to the community

Braving plummeting temperatures and stiff winds Nov. 19, the Lake County Building and Construction Trades Council and the Lake County Contractors Association provided complete turkey dinners to 100 deserving families in Lake County as part of their Giving Back to the Community event. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

GRAYSLAKE — For the second time this year, union members and signatory contractors in Lake County joined forces to give back to their communities.

Braving the plummeting temperatures and stiff winds Nov. 19, the Lake County Building and Construction Trades Council, the Lake County Contractors Association and the Northeastern Illinois Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO provided complete turkey dinners to 100 deserving families in Lake County.

“We’re going to continue to build on our efforts, and reach out to families in need,” explained Lake County Contractors Association Executive Vice President Tim Marabella.

Giving back to the community

The parking lot of the Lake County Housing Authority became a one-stop Thanksgiving dinner shopping spot Nov. 19 when the Lake County Building Trades and the Lake County Contractors Association gave back to their communities by giving away turkeys and all the trimmings for a complete Thanksgiving day dinner. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“People don’t understand the aspect of what unions give back to the community. They see us doing construction, but they aren’t aware of all the things we do behind the scenes to help our communities,” he added.

The Lake County Housing Authority was responsible for contacting families throughout Lake County and informing them of the opportunity to receive a turkey dinner. When distribution started at 10 a.m., there were 30 people deep at the check-in table.

For Easter earlier this year, both organizations, along with the Northeastern Illinois Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, provided complete ham dinners for 100 families.

Family members Sue and Jamie Boller from Boller Construction in Waukegan welcomed residents and offered them doughnuts and coffee, which was perfect to ward off the cold weather. Husband Bob Boller worked inside the delivery truck, organizing food items.

Giving back to the community

A banner lines US Highway 45 in front of the Lake County Housing Authority where union members volunteered Nov. 19 by giving way complete turkey dinners to deserving Lake County families. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“We made sure the families grabbed some doughnuts and coffee before they got their turkey so we didn’t have extra. We absolutely don’t need them,” Marabella joked.

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Patrick Statter, president of the Northeastern Illinois Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and UFCW 881 recorder was instrumental in purchasing the turkeys and side dishes from Mariano’s of Lake Zurich.

Lake County Building Trades President Pete Olson said the goal of both organizations was to show a presence with their community, “which we achieved,” Olson said.

Turkey dinners that were not picked up did not go to waste. Union members found deserving organizations that welcomed the dinners.

IBEW Local 9 helps families with Thanksgiving dinners

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 and Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County

Members of Hillside’s IBEW Local 9, including Bill Niesman, Joe Notaro, Eric Bergdolld, Phil Dote and Kevin Schuster, along with staff and children from the Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County, helped set up the Nov. 22 turkey dinner donation site. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

BELLWOOD — Board member Frank Sangiacomo summed up the evening after walking into the gym of the Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County by saying, “this is beautiful!” Sangiacomo is also an alum of the same Boys & Girls Club.

What was beautiful was the sight of enough turkeys and all the trimmings for a yummy Thanksgiving meal — enough to feed 150 people, all made possible though the collective effort of Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 membership.

At its last two union meetings, members donated money, which was used to purchase turkeys, gravy, vegetables, yams, rolls, pies, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pop. The clubs Director Keenan White said both organizations have been talking on how they could partner together in ways to help the community and the children it serves. “Next thing you know, it turns into donating turkeys for Thanksgiving,” White said.

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 and Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County

Before families arrived, all the food was sorted and bagged for convenience. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Food was pre-ordered, but pick-up, delivery and distribution was all done Nov. 22 by the union.

Club President Steve Beranek said the club has produced to many wonderful people over the years, with life skills they learned at the club. “I want to see that continue, and that’s what we want to do,” Beranek explained.

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 and Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County

The Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County Director Keenan White makes sure every bag given to families has the same items in them. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Children at the club were eager to help by sorting and organizing bags of food. The club notified families, and pick up was from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

With money saved by not having to purchase a Thanksgiving dinner, families can now focus on the upcoming holiday season with a little more money in their pocket.

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 and Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County

Children at the club were eager to help by sorting and organizing bags of food. The club notified families, and pick up was from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 and Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County

Hillside’s IBEW Local 9 made this Thanksgiving extra special for 50 families of the Boys & Girls Club of West Cook County. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

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Volunteering is good for the soul

An Aurora homeowner receives new roof

An Aurora homeowner received a blessing from organized labor when several building trades volunteered their time and skills over three days to replace an old, leaky roof that was costing the homeowner higher insurance premiums. Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia contacted the Carpenters and Laborers union in Lisle and Elgin for help. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

You can view members of the Fox Valley Building Trades doing work on the roof by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel

AURORA — As Aurora’s Veterans Day parade was winding its way through Aurora Nov. 11, members from several labor unions were taking advantage of the sunny, unseasonably warm day, ripping shingles off a roof that was in long need of repair.

The home, in the 600 block of Adams Street, is owned by a low and fixed income senior who was caught in a cycle of paying higher insurance premium because her roof leaked. Unfortunately, the higher monthly insurance bill made it impossible to save money for the repair needed to be done.

Early this year, repairs were done made on her home through Rebuilding Together Aurora, but after a second request was made, help couldn’t be given.

An Aurora homeowner receives new roof

An Aurora senior in need received a new roof with help from Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and members from Carpenters Local 916, 1307 and Laborers Local 582. Photo courtesy of Laborers Local 582.

That’s when Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia stepped in. She represents the 83rd Representative District, which includes Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora.

She knew the best and fastest way to get the job done was with organized labor, so she reached out to the carpenters for help.
“Many people don’t need a hand out — they just need a hand, and that’s what the unions were able to do for this homeowner,” Chapa LaVia explained.

Members of Elgin’s Laborers Local 582, and Lisle’s Carpenters Local 916 spent two days ripping off layers of old singles, repairing holes and getting the roof ready for the final day, when members from Lisle’s Carpenters Local 1307 shingled the 2,800-square foot roof.

An Aurora homeowner receives new roof

Union members volunteer their time for three days, tearing off numerous layers of shingles, doing roof repairs and re-shingling her roof. Jennifer Rice/staff photography

“When Linda contacted us to volunteer, we said, ‘of course,’” explained Local 916 Business Representative Brian Hooker. This summer, his members volunteered with Rebuilding Together Aurora working on homes for the community, so they knew what needed to be done.

Chapa LaVia herself donated money for materials and Republic offered a less-expensive rate for its Dumpster services.

An Aurora homeowner receives new roof

Union members did fine work and the finished product looks great. Jennifer Rice/staff photography

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“This is Aurora. This is what we do in Aurora — we work together to solve issues so people’s lives are better,” Chapa LaVia said.

She firmly believes the quality of work organized labor does is second-to-none. “It’s the best training you can get in a vocational arena,” she added.

If the community looked to each other more often, it would rely less on federal or state government, which is something LaVia would like to see more of.

“Our community is our brothers and sisters,” she said.

SMW Local 73 celebrates, honors veterans

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 in Hillside held its annual Veterans Luncheon Nov. 6 as a way to give back to its veteran members. During the event, it donated $224,000 to Salute, Inc., a veteran organization that provides financial support for military men and women. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

HILLSIDE — A recent SMART Regional Convention in Chicago proved to be a catalyst for fundraising efforts by Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 to help a local veteran organization — Salute, Inc.

Donations received during the convention, and matched by SMART, totaled $224,000, which was donated Nov. 6 to Salute, Inc. founders Will and Mary Beth Beiersdorf, during SMW Local 73’s annual Veterans Luncheon.

“I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done,” SMW Local 73 President Rocco Terranova told his members in attendance at the veterans luncheon. “This organization does what it says it does,” he explained.

Salute, Inc.

Salute, Inc., founder Will Beiersdorf, holding T-shirts, and his wife Mary Beth pass out shirts to veterans at Sheet Metal Workers Local 73. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Salute, Inc., a non-profit organization, provides financial support for military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.

This is the 12th year the SMW Local 73 Veterans Committee has held a luncheon for its veteran members. The committee fundraises through its monthly 50/50 union meeting raffles, and donations and proceeds from the sale of ads in its Veterans Committee luncheon booklet.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Members enjoy a lunch, conversation, and raffle opportunities at Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 union hall Nov. 6. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Veterans Committee Secretary Mike Roche said this year, the committee has been able to give out more than $5,400 to various organizations.

A new, younger member was recently added to the Veterans Committee, bring some “new blood” to the committee, said SMW 73 Local Veterans Committee Director of Veterans’ Affairs Eric Olson.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Two Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 veterans, Dominic LaCaria, left, and Paul McNutt, right, were the BIG raffle winners Nov. 6 during the union’s annual Veterans Day Luncheon. They both won a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

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“Our newest committee member is currently an apprentice, and I’m happy to say, we have 16 apprentices right now that our veterans,” Olson explained. The committee is looking to bridge the gap between the older and younger veterans.

Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburino, who is a familiar face at the luncheon, came again this year. Tamburino served in the Army from 1968-70.

Troubled workers’ comp system shows need for single-payer health care

illinois_single_payer

Illinois Single Payer Coalition

By Johanna Ryan with Anne Scheetz, MD
Johanna Ryan is a workers’ comp paralegal and a member of the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition.
Anne Scheetz, MD, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program and a founding member of the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition, cared for many patients with work-related health problems before her retirement from clinical practice.
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

Please sign up as a supporter, persuade your union to do the same, and make sure to get involved. References:
– Number of Illinois workers’ comp claims
– Gov. Bruce Rauner’s turn-around agenda
– Illinois occupational illness and injury statistics

In Illinois and around the nation, big business has labeled workers’ compensation a system in crisis. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has depicted it as a millstone around the necks of Illinois employers, who he claims are shelling out too much money to treat injuries that might not even be work-related. Rauner and other Republican governors have made “reforming” workers’ compensation a key part of their pro-business agenda.

However, any worker who has had to use the system lately knows the real “workers’ comp crisis” is too little health care, not too much. In Illinois, as in most states, your employer is required to carry standard workers’ comp insurance. But it’s private companies like Liberty Mutual, Travelers and AIG/Chartis that provide the coverage — and they would much rather pay lawyers to fight your claim than pay doctors to help you get well.

Under the system they’ve created, a worker hurt on the job is actually at higher risk of being denied medical care (or having their treatment cut short) than a worker who falls getting out of the bathtub at home.

We believe the best way to fight the growing attacks on workers’ compensation is to take private insurance companies out of the picture. A public, single-payer health care system, financed by taxes rather than insurance premiums, would accomplish these goals:

– Eliminate delays and outright denial of care and the resulting long-term adverse effects on workers’ health;
– Take medical decisions out of the hands of insurance companies and place them where they belong: in the hands of patients and their doctors; and
– Make prevention the preferred approach to work-related health problems by strengthening our public health infrastructure.

This is the type of health care system workers in almost every other wealthy industrialized nation take for granted. Here in the USA, it has been endorsed by the United Mine Workers, National Nurses United, the Machinists’ Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and many others. Single-payer health care is a pro-active, rather than a reactive, approach to workers’ health. It is an ambitious program, but workers deserve no less.

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To get medical care in a workers’ comp case, it’s not enough to show it’s necessary. You must also prove it’s related to a workplace injury. This can be especially hard for “wear-and-tear” injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, but it can also affect the worker who falls off a ladder or is struck by a forklift.

Private insurers love to litigate these cases – they know it has a chilling effect on the next worker who thinks about filing a claim. So they’re happy to spend several thousand dollars to have you examined by an employer-friendly medical specialist who will declare your work injury was just a “minor strain,” and your current symptoms are due to chronic arthritis, an old football injury or some other cause. No PT for you, pal, and definitely no surgery.

Rauner wants to make the standard for causation even higher, by requiring that an accident at work must be more than 50 percent responsible for an injury compared to all other causes. He also wants the records made by the treating physician — the one who actually knows the patient and who assessed the problem at the time of its occurrence — to count for less, and the opinions of those employer-friendly “independent medical examiners” to count for more.

Such changes taken together would gut workers’ compensation. Employers who are reckless with workers’ health will be even more confident they can get away with it. Workers’ risk of injury will increase, and their access to care and compensation will decrease.

In theory, workers’ comp expenses should give employers an incentive to make the workplace safer. It would be nice if that were the case. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find anyone in the field who believes it. Workers’ comp costs are much like the legal fines and penalties paid by drug companies — just a cost of doing business, which is never big enough to make them change their ways.

Employers are fond of moaning about the high cost of workers’ comp, and make a public scandal out of any individual case of cheating, real or alleged. But the real root of rising costs is litigation, not featherbedding or fraud. Private workers’ comp carriers have made Illinois a happy hunting ground for insurance defense lawyers, even as the number of workers’ comp claims in the past decade has shrunk by more than a third. The changes Rauner proposes would make this much worse.

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Take the example of one injured worker we know: A woman who’s been waiting a year and a half for repair of her torn rotator cuff, precisely because of this type of dispute. She now has neck and back problems too, thanks to months of trying to use her trapezius muscles to compensate for her damaged shoulder. Ask any doctor: when she finally gets her surgery, the results will be worse than average on account of all that delay.

A single-payer health care system would cover the care she needed, with no questions asked. Her lawyers could concentrate on fighting to get her disability payments and an eventual cash settlement; we wouldn’t have to to fight over medical care. Our client could at least get her surgery and physical therapy, even if the workers’ comp carrier denied her weekly benefit checks. She could recover and be working a new job while she waited for her shoulder claim to settle.

Relying on workers’ comp claims filed by individuals (or their next of kin) to enforce respect for workplace safety just doesn’t make sense. Would we depend on lawsuits alone to keep poisoned or spoiled foods off the market? Workplace safety, just like food safety, is a public health issue. We need public enforcement bodies, with real power, and with real penalties for violations.

According to an AFL-CIO report, in 2015, Illinois only had enough Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors to inspect all job sites only once every 143 years. The average penalty for a fatality investigation, of which there were 56, was $8,553. This clearly falls short of what’s needed to enforce workplace safety standards and protect workers’ lives. (A few states, such as Washington, have public workers’ compensation insurance funds with some limited powers over workplace safety. Unions in Washington strongly support this system. When Liberty Mutual and other private insurers tried to enter the market a few years ago, labor fought the measure through a statewide referendum and won.)

Wouldn’t we all be better off under a single-payer system that guaranteed treatment for any illness or injury, without a legal battle over the cause? Such a system would not only be cheaper, but it would provide better care. There was a time when most specialists welcomed workers’ comp patients. However, given endless payment delays and litigation hassles, those days are fast becoming history.

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Instead of seeing the best doctors, too many injured workers have to put up with pro-employer “occupational health” clinics, or third-rate providers who pad their bills with useless charges to compensate for long payment delays.

Imagine if everyone, from janitors to CEO’s, carried the same health insurance card! You would choose your own doctors and other care providers. No specialist would turn you away because of the type of insurance you had. You and your doctor – not your employer’s workers’ comp carrier, or any other insurance company, would make decisions about tests, surgery, physical therapy, medical equipment, and other care.

All care would be paid for by progressive taxes, and free at the point of service. Hospitals would not shut down in low-income neighborhoods if the residents had the same high-quality insurance as everyone else. No one would lose their health insurance through leaving a job, going on strike, or for any other reason.

Also, injured workers could get immediate care without having to prove to anyone exactly where, when or how they got hurt.

Workers’ comp lawyers (and we’d still need them) could concentrate on fighting for compensation – and we wouldn’t see clients dropping their claims or settling for pennies because they were desperate for medical care.

A strong public health system, the foundation on which primary care and specialty care must rest in order to be effective, would make protection of workers’ health a high priority.

That’s what a single payer system could offer all of us, union or nonunion. It sounds like a better way to us.

Chicago Jobs with Justice honors IFT President Dan Montgomery

Chicago Jobs with Justice

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery receives the Charlie Hayes award Sept. 15 from Chicago Jobs with Justice Executive Director Susan Hurley. Montgomery was introduced by Karen Lewis. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

You can view Karen Lewis’ introduction of Dan Montgomery by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel

You can view Dan Montgomery talking to guests by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel

CHICAGO — Dan Montgomery was content on staying an English teacher in Skokie. He entered the profession to teach, but somewhere along the way, he become a unionist. And he’s OK with that.

“Along the way, I became a union leader and it’s been a great honor and privilege. Along the way, I discovered I loved it,” Montgomery said.

He’s OK with being part of a group of people who work hard for the continuance of democracy. “You realize you’re part of something much bigger than just those 40 minutes in your classroom every day,” Montgomery explained.

Since 2010 Montgomery’s been president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) union where he’s fought for justice for teachers, students and working families throughout the state and Chicago. For that, Chicago Jobs with Justice (CJwJ) honored Montgomery with its Charlie Hayes Award Sept. 15.

CJwJ is also celebrating 25 years of activism and organizing.

IFT Vice President Karen Lewis introduced Montgomery and recalled their election as IFT officers and traveling to its convention. “There were people that we defeated that were still on the IFT Executive Board, so, it was a very awkward time,” she said to laughs from guests.

Chicago

Chicago Teachers Union President and Illinois Federation of Teachers Vice President Karen Lewis addresses Chicago Jobs with Justice honoree Dan Montgomery. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

There were some veteran IFT officials that wanted someone other than Montgomery making decisions, suggesting he act instead as a shadow to the real leaders. Lewis wanted to give Montgomery a shot. She convinced him it would be OK; that they would figure it out together.

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When Lewis talks about Montgomery, you can see the admiration and respect she has for him. “I appreciate that he took that leap of faith. He went over that mountain with me, and we’ve been at it ever since,” Lewis explained.

Montgomery has recognized the need to build solidarity with other unions, with the community and with parents.

Teaching in Skokie, he said his students had parents who worked middle-class jobs. The parents were the kind of people Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doesn’t care about.

Even though Montgomery taught to the best of his ability, nothing would have a greater impact on the lives of his students than if a parent lost their job.

“That will have a bigger impact on their lives than anything I could do as a teacher,” he explained.

Become the best electrical talent out there

DuPage JATC training center

Inside the DuPage JATC training center, students learn through classroom study and hands-on experience of motor and electronic fundamentals, industrial safety and digital fundamentals. Apprenticeship classes are recognized at College of DuPage and can be used towards an Electro-Mechanical Technology associates degree in Applied Science. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

WARRENVILLE — Being an IBEW electrician is about having a viable option for a career, not simply having a job.

With projections of 1/3 of Warrenville’s IBEW Local 701 workforce to retire in the next 10 years, combined with an increased construction cycle for the Chicagloand area, IBEW union officials are looking to train the newest up-and-coming IBEW union workforce.

IBEW Local 701, 28600 Bella Vista Pkwy., is currently taking applications every Tuesday for placement into its apprenticeship program, but you have to act quick. The last day to enroll in the program, for placement next year, is Tuesday, Sept. 27. Accepted applicants will start in May 2017. There are two programs for applicants — inside wireman, and data/telecommunications technician. There is a 3-step process to apply for either.

First: Apply between 8 a.m. to noon; and 1 to 4 p.m. There is a $20 fee ($25 to apply for both programs). You have to be 18-years-old at time of selection; be a high school graduate or GED equivalent; have a C average or better in high school algebra; show proof of citizenship.

Second: Take an aptitude test in November, which consists of reading comprehension and algebra. You have to score four or better, out of a possible nine.

Third: Interview process, consisting of 15 minutes in front of a panel.

DuPage JATC Training Director Hank Zurawski said the inside wireman program is the most popular. This program is a 5-year program, consisting of 8,000 work hours and 900 classroom hours.

“Applicants will learn about the electrical distribution throughout industrial and commercial types of construction,” Zurawski explained.

DuPage JATC training center

Instructors are teaching renewable energy training so students can meet the demand for smart-grid applications or solar and wind for residential, municipal, commercial and industrial properties. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

The data/telecommunications technician program is a 4-year program, consisting of 6,400 work hours and 720 classroom hours.

“Data technicians install voice and data networks, card access, security systems and camera systems,” Zurawski said.

There is an average of 10 to 12 students in the inside wireman program, and six students in the data technician program.

The advantage of apprenticeship programs is it allows students to learn in the work environment and get paid.

Zurawski made it very clear: an apprenticeship program is a 40-hour a week job.

“You’re going to go to work immediately, and you’re going to be paid for it. It’s required that you work 40 hours a week minimum, when work is available. You’re going to be given a competitive wage rate, and a respectable benefit package. You will contribute to three retirement savings account programs immediately,” he explained.

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There is no tuition involved, however, there is a $450 initial fee, which covers the cost of tools each apprentice receives. Cost after that is $400 every year for textbooks.

“All we do here, is privately funded through the collective bargaining agreement. Our members and signatory contractors have chosen to find a way to get the financial resources to sustain our posture in the industry,” Zurawski said.

He has a $1.3 million training budget — money that doesn’t come from the government, or the taxpayers.

The IBEW JATC has partnered with College of DuPage to accept apprentice classes as college credit. After completion of the apprenticeship program, COD will transfer 47-50 credit hours towards an Electro-Mechanical Technology associates degree in Applied Science. In essence, the apprenticeship school classes are equivalent to COD’s program requirements. A student will then have to complete 18 to 22 general education credits to acquire the degree.

Fight for $15 joining Trump protest

Bolingbrook protest against Donald Trump

A protest against Donald Trump in Bolingbrook was rescheduled from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28. The protest will show Republican presidential nominee Trump he is not wanted in Bolingbrook when he holds a fundraiser at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. Suburban Families Against Hate will join with Fight for $15 Chicago for the protest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Photo illustration by Jennifer Rice

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

BOLINGBROOK — Donald’s Trump Bolingbrook fundraiser has been rescheduled for the second time, which will now take place Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Trump’s fundraiser and accompanying Dump Trump protest was to have happened Monday, Sept. 19. (Which was pushed back from its original Sept. 12 date.) At Monday’s Sept. 19 protest, Chicago’s Fight for $15 was expected to join Suburban Families Against Hate against the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump’s fundraiser will take place at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Dr. The protest will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fight for $15 was going to have buses traveling from Chicago to Bolingbrook to protest against Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-minimum wage and anti-woman stance.

Tickets for Trump’s fundraiser are going as high as $250,000. For that, you get a photo op and a seat at a VIP table.

Bolingbrook protest against Donald Trump

Fight for $15 Chicago was set to send buses from Chicago to the western suburb of Bolingbrook Sept. 19 to join Suburban Families Against Hate’s protest of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fundraiser at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. The fundraiser has been rescheduled for Sept. 28. Photo courtesy of Fight for $15 Chicago

A Change.org petition to keep Trump out of Bolingbrook was created by Suburban Families Against Hate, stating, “Trump does not represent the interests nor the values of families in the suburban community of Bolingbrook.

“It is an insult to invite a billionaire to raise funds in a middle-class, hard working, vibrant, and diverse community.”

dump_trump_3

On the petition, Bolingbrook resident Michael Manolakes said Trump’s rhetoric incites violence.

“Donald Trump is a man who regularly uses rhetoric that incites violence at his rallies, and he condones violence by his supporters against dissenters,” Manolakes said.

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“I do not wish to have him speak at a facility built and maintained by my tax dollars,” he added.

According to Suburban Families Against Hate, it sent petitions to Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar asking him to cancel the fundraiser, indicating it should not be held at a place supported by village taxes as it “insults our diverse Bolingbrook community.”

Protesters are expected to park on the streets in the nearby South Gate Park Subdivision on Madison Boulevard, east of the Bolingbrook Fire Station.

There also is parking south of the golf course, at Crossroads of Faith United Methodist Church, 1570 Rodeo Dr. No signs can be posted in the church parking lot.

Federal project, or tenant build out?

Obama archives labor protest

A labor dispute broke out in Hoffman Estates at the facility along Golf Road that will temporarily house archives for the future Barack Obama Presidential Center. Union members are trying to find out if the conversion is a federally funded project, or a tenant build out. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

View a video from the Hoffman Estates labor dispute by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel

HOFFMAN ESTATES — It seems inconceivable that a temporary archives facility, set to house archives for our DEMOCRATIC president in the Barack Obama Presidential Center, destined to be built in CHICAGO — ground zero for the LABOR MOVEMENT, is currently being worked on by non-signatory contractors.

What’s unclear, and what union leaders are trying to determine, is if the conversion of the archives facility is a tenant build out, or a federally funded project that should adhere to the Davis-Bacon Act.

Until it’s figured out, one thing is clear: Union members will be out along Golf Road with Scabby the Rat fighting this labor dispute.

Davis-Bacon, passed in 1931, requires private contractors to pay “prevailing wages” to employees on all construction projects receiving more than $2,000 in federal funding.

“If this is a federal project, Davis-Bacon applies,” said Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizer Eric Olson.

Obama archives labor protest

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizer Eric Olson, left, brings State Rep. Marty Moylan up-to-date on the status of the building trades labor dispute against Mid-Continental Management. Moylan came out Aug. 22 to talk to union members about the situation. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Unfortunately, Olson is being told by Mid-Continental Management owner Andrew Staskevicius that it’s not a federal project and that the end-user will be the National Archives and Record Administration.

The building is owned by Hoffman Estates Medical Development LLC, which hired Mid-Continental Management as the general contractor. Local 73 put up Scabby the Rat Aug. 17. A labor rally was held Aug. 22, where several building trades members, retirees and local politicians, like Representative Marty Moylan and State Sen. Laura Murphy, came out.

Obama archives labor protest

From left, Mid-Continental Management owner Andrew Staskevicius talks with Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 Organizers David Sylvester and Eric Olson about signatory contractors that may have bid on the job for the conversion of the former Plunkett Furniture store that will house the temporary archives of the future Barack Obama Presidential Center. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

As he has in days past, Staskevicius came out Aug. 22 to talk with members, specifically SMW Local 73 Organizers Olson and David Sylvester. Again, he indicated the conversion project is a tenant build out.

“I’m getting paid by the owner of the building. He is leasing to the government. There are government funds when the government actually taking over,” Staskevicius said, indicating the project is partially funded by the government.

Obama archives labor protest

State Sen. Laura Murphy, talks with Chicago & Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council President Ralph Affrunti about the situation during the construction at the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Sylvester said it’s a federally funded job that was a no-bid contract. “This is a 74,200-square foot facility that’s being leased out for $11.6 million for four years, with a two-year extended option.”

Staskevicius indicated women would be working on the project. “For cleaning, and stuff like that, it’s going to be women.”

Obama archives labor protest

State Rep. Marty Moylan gives his full support to union members who are involved in the labor dispute. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Advocates for mesothelioma victims

vogelzang

Fox Valley Labor News
staff reports
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016

Learn more about Vogelzang Law, at Vogelzang Law’s website

CHICAGO — Vogelzang Law is a Chicago based mesothelioma and asbestos law firm dedicated to representing victims of mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are most likely overwhelmed dealing with medical issues.

Although taking legal action may not be your family’s top priority, it should not be ignored. The sole focus of Vogelzang Law is representing individuals who have been exposed to asbestos, resulting in cancer.

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Attorney Nicholas Vogelzang has been working with victims of asbestos-related disease and mesothelioma for nearly 20 years. During this period, he has represented more than 200 families from across the U.S. and from all different backgrounds.

Vogelzang’s interest with mesothelioma victims was sparked by his father, Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, who also has dedicated his career to the treatment of mesothelioma patients.

Vogelzang Law is committed to serving clients and getting them the reparations they deserve. It has the resources and experience of a large firm, and it is dedicated to giving cases the personal attention only a boutique firm could offer.

Your case will never be part of a class-action lawsuit, and you will never be treated like a case number. Vogelzang Law’s, its commitment to its clients extends well beyond the walls of the courtroom.

Regardless of your location in the U.S., Vogelzang Law will travel to your home or somewhere convenient and comfortable for you. Vogelzang Law will learn about you, your family, your background and do a complete evaluation of your legal options, which is free and without obligation.