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.

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.

vogelzang_info

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.

Tasting the rainbow at Wrigley

Skittles expansion in Yorkville

The Skittles expansion in Yorkville put members in the building trades to work for more than a year. The $50 million investment adds a new Skittles line and 75 jobs to Wrigley factory in Yorkville. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

Wrigley expansion advances growth for Mars in the US. $50 million investment adds new Skittles line and 75 jobs to Wrigley factory in Yorkville

YORKVILLE — It was sensory overload for guests who were given a tour June 14 through Wrigley’s $50 million Skittles factory expansion.

The overwhelming smells of spearmint and peppermint gave adults a child-like wonder while walking through a guided tour with Wrigley associates.
With precision, machines cut, wrapped, and packaged Wintergreen Extra gum, while other conveyors carried mounds of Doublemint gum dough to its final point of processing.

Natural light and bright colors of wall paint gave no doubt that Skittles were bring manufactured at the facility.

Today, Wrigley is running its Skittle production 24/7, because, well, people need more Skittles. “We need to accommodate the growth of the No. 1 non-chocolate confection in the U.S. market,” said Wrigley Americas President Casey Keller.

Skittles expansion in Yorkville

Wrigley Americas President Casey Keller was pleased to announce production of Skittles is running 24/7 at its Yorkville factory. Wrigley welcomed tours through the Skittles factory after a ribbon cutting event June 14. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer.

Along with creating 75 new jobs, the Skittle expansion project allowed local building trades to put its members to work for more than 1 1/2 years.

Factory Director Brian Pardo said when union members come to work, they came with the core value of safety on their mind. “It makes my job a lot easier,” Pardo explained. “We talk with our associates everyday about safety, and it was mirrored by union members when we went into the construction process.”

Skittles expansion in Yorkville

Packaged Skittles come down an assembly line to await shipment. Keller said Skittles have become the top-selling non-chocolate candy in the U.S. With its annual production, Wrigley could give four pieces of Skittles to everyone in Illinois EVERY day. Photo courtesy of Wrigley

On the electrical end, IBEW Local 461’s workforce reached 30,000 hours without a lost time incident while working on two construction projects at Wrigley — including the Skittles expansion factory. The projects also were completed on time and on budget.

For Continental Electrical Construction Company (CECCo), having members work 30,000 hours without an incident was amazing, said CECCo’s Director of Field Operations Brian Swiatek. CECCo has been performing electrical work at Wrigley for more than seven years — as long as Pardo has been with Wrigley.

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“I can tell you, I didn’t have to worry about people not wearing safety glasses or being harnessed off if they needed to be. Everyone followed everything safely,” Pardo explained.

The 145,000 square-foot expansion is an example to how Mars is investing in the U.S. Over the last five years, Mars has invested $1 billion and created 1,000 jobs in new U.S. facilities.

Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Sean McCarthy said Wrigley has called Illinois home since 1891.

“The state of Illinois is proud to be a partner in your continued growth in the land of Lincoln,” McCarthy said.

United for a Cure

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Organized Labor rose to the calling and helped raise $152,000 to support early detection and pancreatic cancer research during the July 21 United for a Cure fundraiser held at Operating Engineers Local 150. Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg, both fighting pancreatic cancer, were the honored guests. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

View videos from the United for a Cure event by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel
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To learn more about Goldberg Weisman Cairo, go to Goldberg Weisman Cairo’s website
To learn more about the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, go to the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s website
_______

COUNTRYSIDE — Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg, supporters and fighters of organized labor, received an outpouring of support and love July 21 when they were guests of honor for the United for a Cure fundraiser — benefiting the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Borrelli and Goldberg found themselves diagnosed, only months apart from each other, with pancreatic cancer in the fall of 2015.

Borrelli is Sr. Vice President at Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, while Goldberg is the founding partner of the injury law firm Goldberg Weisman Cairo (GWC).

“I’ve never known anyone in my life with this diagnosis, and now, I have two close friends of mine with the same diagnosis,” explained GWC partner Louis Cairo to a room of 800 guests at Operating Engineers Local 150.

Friends of both Borrelli and Goldberg wanted to help — but what do you do? “We decided to rock the house for [these] two, great men,” Cairo said.

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Goldberg Weisman Cairo partner Louis Cairo was a driving force in organizing the United for a Cure July 21 fundraising event, which was hosted by the Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago & Cook County Building Trades and GWC Law Firm. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“We decided to have an evening to celebrate the wonderful lives and accomplishments, and the love and respect that Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg have from the people in this room. That’s why we’re here.”

The other reason was to raise money to benefit the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in order to find ways of early detection and a cure. Right now, there are no test for early detection.

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Joe Borrelli, left, and Michael Goldberg were honored during a fundraising event July 21 for the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. Both men were diagnosed in the fall of 2015. With no test for early detection, money raised will go towards research for early detection and finding a cure. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“With no test available, the only way pancreatic cancer is discovered is by luck,” Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Executive Director Lynda Robbins explained. The event raised a whopping $152,000 for the cause.

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Borrelli addressed the crowd from a wheelchair, a precautionary measure, insisted upon by his doctor. “When I heard the word ‘cancer,’ from my doctor, I don’t think I heard anything after that. It’s a journey you have to take.”

Along his journey, Borrelli reached out to Goldberg for knowledge and insight on his personal journey with pancreatic cancer.

In his capacity at Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, Borrelli is a relationship manager for several unions, allowing him to be extensively involved with organized labor. During his chemotherapy, he said he was amazed at the amount of help, support and respect he has received from unions.

“The unions do so much charitable work that nobody ever finds out about, or knows about — nobody ever seems to care about,” he said.

That night, Borrelli cared. As did Goldberg, who acknowledged the many charitable causes that organized labor helps fund.

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“Collectively, unions are the most charitable groups of people on the planet. Union leaders are just hard working, men and women dedicated to making people’s lives better,” he explained.

Describing himself as a half-glass full kind of guy, Goldberg stressed laughter can help make you better. Stay positive, and never give up.