Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clerical workers at UIC prepare to strike - NEED YOUR SUPPORT...


Next Monday, August 23rd, is the first day of classes at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). It will also likely be the first day of a strike by clerical workers at the university, members of SEIU Local 73.

You can listen to an mp3 of last Monday's Labor Express Radio program to hear more about some of the issues prompting the workers to strike...


The following is a message from Local 73 member Joe Isobaker...

Workers Prepare Strike at UIC--Need Your Support! 2700 union workers, members of SEIU Local 73 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are preparing to strike on Monday, August 23rd. They are demanding job security and a fair contract. They need your support. The Network to Fight for Economic Justice (NFEJ) is calling on its affiliates and supporters to show your solidarity. The strike is provoked by UIC’s attempts to undermine the union and by an administration trying to balance the budget on the backs of workers. The UIC big wigs eliminated hundreds of civil service jobs by “reclassifying”, declaring the positions non-union. Not surprisingly most of those “reclassified” jobs are going to whites, while Blacks and Latinos account for 95% of the union workers. SEIU Local 73 is not going to allow this outrage! An equally big issue is pay raises for union members. UIC pleads poverty because of the State budget crisis, but has actually increased their budget through contributions from rich people. Fact is the bosses at UIC are busy lining their pockets at the expense of workers, taxpayers, and students. Apparently there is no economic crisis if you are a big boss at a state university. President Hogan makes $620,000 per year with a $245,000 bonus over five years. Hogan’s assistant took an 85% pay increase to make $195,000 per year!
What is going on there? The average worker, according to management’s own estimate, makes $35,000 a year after many years on the job. While many workers are losing homes, the UIC bosses wasted $500,000 of taxpayer money to refurbish a mansion in the midst of this economic crisis. Are they crazy! The brave union members of Local 73 SEIU need to be supported and praised for taking a stand and setting an example for other workers. The leaders of SEIU Local 73 are united and strong behind one of the biggest strikes in the country this year. The International union needs to understand the importance of this strike and send in reinforcements too. Meanwhile, it is the union members with the support of students, faculty, and solidarity from other workers who will determine the outcome of this big battle in the heartland. Please do your part to help win the SEIU strike at UIC: 1. Sign the petition to demand a fair contract for SEIU workers. This sends a message to UIC Chancellor Allen-Meares, UIC President Hogan, and members of the administration's bargaining team that we want a fair contract. The online petition can be found here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/uicfaircontractsnow 2. Strike solidarity—on Monday come walk the SEIU picket lines at UIC Student Center East at 750 S. Halsted, starts at 6:00 a.m. 3. Spread the word--circulate the electronic petition to unions, community and student groups. They Say Cut Back! We Say Fight Back! Reach the Network to Fight for Economic Justice at www.nfej.org

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