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Essential Workers in Chicago Walk Off Job to Demand Fair Pay and Safe Working Conditions

HeadlineDec 23, 2020

In Chicago, over 1,500 essential workers staged a one-day strike Tuesday to demand safer conditions and hazard pay during the pandemic for all essential workers. Hospital health and maintenance workers, Cook County Clerk’s Office workers, and employees from the Sheriff’s Office say county officials have been refusing to negotiate as workers continue to serve essential frontline roles amid the pandemic. This is Reverend James Phipps, who serves on SEIU’s executive board for Cook County and was an organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement.

Rev. James Phipps: “They disrespect us. They disrespect our union. But at the same time, they want us to support them financially for them to attain their goal. We’re fighting for our families. We’re fighting for economic justice for the community at large. And we understand that in this country, most of the Black and Brown people don’t know what generational wealth is. Nothing ever trickled down to them.”

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