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Health Care Main Issue in Chicago Hotel Workers’ Strike

UNITE HERE Local 1’s demand for In the slow season, “they just lay us off for three or four months at a time,” Local 1 strike captain Q Rivers, who has worked at the Palmer House Hilton for two years, told the Real News Network Sept. 19. “Being a diabetic, it’s very important to me that I have my health insurance year-round, and not just while I’m working.” The walkout began Sept. 7, a week after contracts covering 6,000 employees at 30 hotels expired. Local 1 says it’s the broadest coordinated hotel strike in the city’s history. “It’s going to be a long fight,” Ionela Petrea, who works as a server in the Hyatt Regency bar, told the Chicago Tribune Sept. 13 during a march by several thousand workers up Michigan Avenue. Three conferences, the Economic Policy Institute’s, the Democratic Attorneys General Association’s fall policy program, and the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium decided to move their venues to show solidarity with the strikers. Read more

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