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Posted by on June 14, 2010 1:40 PM | Permalink
Chicago Plumbers Making $63/Hour Vote To Strike Over Too-Small Raises, Despite Massive Unemployment
Joe Weisenthal | Jun. 1, 2010, 7:27 AM | 3,290 | 35
Sometimes people look at the strikes going on Greece and wonder what's wrong with the protestors.
Don't they realize that without salary and job cuts their country is going broke?
Well, maybe, but the truth is that people are allergic to pay cuts. In fact, they're allergic to not getting regular, substantial raises. Or so it would seem.
Case in point: plumbers in Chicago.
Chicago Union News reports that Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Local Union 130 has voted to authorize a strike because the Plumbing Contractors Association of Chicago and Cook County (another cartel, we're guessing) would not agree to the union's raise demands.
The union workers, who get $44/hour plus $19/hour in benefits had demanded a $2.75-an-hour raise in year one, $3.20 in year two and $3.50 in year three. In turn, the contractors were willing to give only a $1.58 increase for year two and $1.95 for year three, and even then only if 4.2 million working hours have been reached.
So, they're striking.
But, here's the kicker
Union leaders, when reached by ChicagoUnionNews.com, declined to comment.
But one rank-and-file member of Local 130, who has been laid off for nearly two years, had this to say about the negotiations: "They could give us $10 raises and it wouldn't matter because there's no work. It's a stalemate. Neither side has any leverage since there's no work."
Even still, the plumber, who asked to remain anonymous, said he would support the union if a strike happened.
"This is a good cause," he said. "Because once we give away our rights, you know how hard it would be to get them back? You lose them forever, basically."
That's right: even employees priced out of the job are in favor of a strike because it's a "good cause" and because otherwise they're giving away their "rights."
And now you know why people strike.
Chicago Plumbers make over 63.00 a hour Jim Sullivan |
June 16, 2010 10:50 AM
Even if they were take a pay it wont put anybody back to work.
June 16, 2010 4:52 PM
By Julie Deardorff, Tribune reporter
On Thursday, Dan Coyne is slated to be honored as a humanitarian at a luncheon for Chicago Public Schools social workers. He plans to talk about his decision to donate a kidney to his favorite grocery store clerk.
By the end of July, however, Coyne may be out of a job unless he relocates from Evanston to Chicago.
Coyne received a letter Friday from the Chicago Board of Education saying he had violated the district's controversial residency requirement. The notice, signed by CPS chief Ron Huberman, states Coyne must move to Chicago by July 31 or face dismissal.
On Tuesday, Coyne remained characteristically upbeat despite having buried his 80-year-old mother, who died of pancreatic cancer the day before he received the termination notice. Earlier this month, he was featured in the official publication of the Chicago Teachers Union under a headline that reads: "Why is this man always smiling?"
But Coyne did say the notice "took his breath away" and he felt stung by the letter's standard statement that he has "exhibited conduct unbecoming an employee."
"So which is it? Am I a poor employee or a great one?" said Coyne, a tenured social worker at Ray Elementary and Pershing East Magnet School. "I guess it depends on whom you ask."
Coyne said he was told on his first day of work in 2002 that the requirement was being waived because he lived in nearby Evanston and the district needed social workers.
Coyne, who was first notified he violated the policy in January, appealed in writing but said he didn't receive an official answer.
CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said Coyne isn't being accused of lying about his residency on his application or his resume. "He's a hero in the eyes of many Chicagoans, but unfortunately the database system is blind to that," Bond said.
"It's by no means a reflection of the individual," she added. "But when it's flagged we like to give them an opportunity to correct it."
In March, Coyne successfully donated a kidney to Evanston's Myra de la Vega, a Filipina immigrant and single mother of two teenagers. Coyne frequented de la Vega's checkout line at his local Jewel-Osco because she was so friendly. When he learned she was ill, he offered a kidney, which turned out to be a match.
After Pershing East Principal Antonia Hill found out about Coyne's astonishing gift to de la Vega, she turned it into a teachable lesson and declared March 23 "Dan Coyne Day," citing his "admirable deed that goes beyond the call of duty in serving the children of CPS."
Coyne and de la Vega talked at a schoolwide assembly about how to give in unusual ways, and teachers altered curriculums to incorporate lessons from Coyne's living organ donation. Students wrote cards to sick children at La Rabida Children's Hospital, and Coyne said he received hundreds of cards and letters thanking him for his efforts.
"It has been a great year; our children learned about serving and giving because of Dan Coyne," said Hill, who sees Coyne as a stabilizing force in her school and was shocked by the news. "Now I'm sick. I could cry."
The warning letters are part of the district's attempt to enforce an unpopular but decades-old requirement that teachers and other school employees live in the city, in part so that they contribute to the tax base that funds schools.
Critics, including Coyne, Hill and the Chicago Teachers Union, argue that the priority should be dedicated and committed teachers, regardless of where they live. "Anyone who wants to commute and put in time and energy — especially if they're making a difference — should be allowed to live wherever they want," said Hill.
Coyne, an 18-year resident of Evanston with two school-age children, said he plans to meet the requirements, even if it means renting a room in the city. He calls his work "life-giving to both me and the people I serve." But he has no plans to uproot his loved ones, who now include de la Vega and her family.
"How many hours do I have to sleep in Chicago to meet the requirement?" he asked. "I'd rather be with my family, my church and my community than play this game."
Bond said CPS is open to working with Coyne regarding his residency. "We understand people have unforeseen circumstances," Bond said.
More Chicago Residency Violations |
June 16, 2010 9:57 PM
ITS GOOD TO SEE THAT SOMEBODY WITH THE LAST NAME coyne isnt a heartless asshole.
June 18, 2010 4:27 PM
yeah, that heartless Coyne guy, when he worked for the Park District, he got caught doing side jobs outta his Park District vehicle, typical he gets caught doing a "bad thing" and he gets promoted and all of those guys at 1340 are still getting 40 hours of pay per week, glad I don't pay union dues
June 21, 2010 9:58 AM
BOY CHUCK YOU SEEM TO KNOW A LOT ABOUT MANY PEOPLE.I THINK PAT SHOULD HAVE YOU ON HIS SHOW AND YOU AND HE COULD LIGHT A BIG FIRE UNDER A LOT OF PEOPLE.LOCAL 130.CITY OF CHICAGO AND SO ON.
YOU SHOULD BE ON PATS PAYROLL |
June 21, 2010 10:09 PM
HEY !!!!!!!! watcha shoutin about??? maybe I know something about you !!! to be honest nobody watches public access and Mike and Pat dont stick to the subject enough, and the people that I FEEL did me wrong while I worked for The Water Dept. have been to prison or got fired so hahaha to them, and the local 130 membership will wake up one day and elect some people that will be honest with the membership, with 90% of the membership NOT WORKING,maybe Jim Sullivan should lay off a few BA's and cut the office hours until things turn around, with no money coming in and more and more guys going non union, that reserve is gonna run dry and then they will start borrowing from the pension fund, after that happens no more 130, like I said I am glad I do not pay dues to 130 anymore, and I have an idea for you, Pat has the balls to put his name on everything he does, he spends some money out of his own pocket, not a whole lot but some, why dont YOU start a blog and do a public access tv show disputing what ever you dont like about the truths Pat puts out. Even though I dont agree with him on some stuff, PAT HAS NEVER LIED. My names there why do you feel the need to post w/o putting your real name there???
June 22, 2010 8:11 AM