You can find a complete list of unions endorsing the Mayor here.
On April 7th, let’s keep winning.
To learn more about Rahm’s plan for Chicago, visit his campaign site, Chicago Together.
Below, check out our new television ad series, “Rahm Love”:
(Videos above paid for by UNITE HERE Local 1 PAC)
EAST CHICAGO, IN – As of Wednesday March 4th, workers at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago are asking customers to gamble elsewhere until Ameristar settles a union contract that maintains workers’ current Union health care plan.
Union workers had been in negotiations for over two years at three Northwest Indiana casinos: Blue Chip, Majestic Star, and Ameristar Casino, which was bought last year by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., based in Las Vegas. Pinnacle has proposed eliminating the affordable, family-supporting health care that Ameristar’s 200 union workers currently enjoy.
Ameristar refuses to settle – instead proposing a company health plan which charges employees up to $4,000 per year in payroll deductions for family coverage. Under the current union plan, employees pay nothing for individual coverage and $30/month for family and dependent coverage.
“When the casinos came to Northwest Indiana, they promised good jobs. Now they’re asking us to literally choose between putting food on the table and our families’ health,” says Natalie Mijares, a 34 year old bartender and mother of two at the casino. Mijares, who has worked at Ameristar for nine years, is a union shop steward.
“I grew up in a Steelworker family. That means we’re proud, and we’re fighters. We’ve been in Indiana for my entire life. Pinnacle just got here. I’ll be damned if I let them destroy the standards we built,” Mijares added.
“Without family-supporting health care, we might as well work at McDonalds,” says Marina Castillo, a 32 year-old beverage server and mother of four. “My co-workers and I are prepared to ask our customers to boycott the casino if that’s what it takes to get a fair contract.”
Blue Chip Casino settled with the union in December 2013, agreeing to keep employer-paid union health insurance for individuals and families. In November 2014, Majestic Star workers ratified their contract which allows for workers to maintain their union healthcare coverage as well. Workers cite keeping that healthcare coverage among their top concerns in negotiations for the new contracts.
The boycott announcement has galvanized the Northwest Indiana community, drawing endorsements from Congressman Pete Visclosky, Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor, which represents 42,000 members, United Steelworkers Local 1014, and the United Steelworkers Local 7-1, currently on strike at BP in Whiting, among others.
Ameristar Casino is now the only union riverboat casino in Northwest Indiana to refuse to continue the family-supporting Union health care plan for its union workers.
Ameristar reported revenue of $17.6 million in January 2015. In comparison, workers like Castillo make around $16,000 in wages a year. If the Ameristar health care plan were implemented, nearly a quarter of her income would go towards the company plan.
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents nearly a thousand workers at three Northwest Indiana casino properties: 200 workers at Ameristar, 300 workers at Majestic Star, and 450 workers at Blue Chip Casino.
CHICAGO — Airline catering workers in Chicago and across the U.S. say their healthcare is too expensive, leaving many uninsured or under-insured. They’re launching an unprecedented national campaign calling on major airlines such as United– many of which are reporting record profits – to fix the problem.
Today workers in O’Hare’s catering kitchens rallied near United Airlines’ downtown headquarters. They delivered a letter and photo petition to United’s CEO representatives on behalf of over 10,000 airline catering workers at 42 U.S. airports, requesting that United earmark one nickel per passenger ticket towards more affordable healthcare options for workers. Additional campaign launch events are taking place in 17 cities across the U.S, coordinated by UNITE HERE, a union representing 27,000 airline workers in the airline food industry. In Chicago, Local 1 represents approximately 900 airline catering workers.
“I pay more than $400 each month, almost an entire week’s paycheck, for insurance,” said Natasha Hill, a 19-year employee who services planes for United, Delta and other airlines at O’Hare International Airport. “On top of that I have to pay $10,000 out of pocket before my family even starts seeing the benefits. But I pay because my two sons need health insurance.”
Employed in every major airport, airline food workers clean dishes, prepare meals, ensure security and transport the food and beverages consumed aboard thousands of flights each day. They play an integral role in the smooth operation of airline itineraries, but according to a 2014 analysis of nearly 10,000 contracted airline catering workers nationally showed over 40 percent make less than $10.10 per hour.
Such low wages position industry workers between a rock and a hard place: unable to pay the premiums of so-called “minimum value plans,” but ineligible to purchase more affordable options from health care exchanges. Over one-quarter of workers surveyed by UNITE HERE reported being uninsured. In other cases, they pay annual premiums for company offered health care of over $1,900 for individuals and over $5,000 for families – all on top of an additional $5,000 minimum deductible. As a result, many workers struggle to make ends meet: in the aforementioned survey, 25% of airline catering workers reported receiving some sort of public assistance.
Meanwhile, the U.S. airline industry is booming: United earned $1.97 billion net income in 2014. Yet United and other airlines continue to squeeze the food workers in their supply chain, paying catering companies an average of only $2.50 per passenger for food—nearly $2.00 less than 2001 rate for similar services. As profits soar, catering workers are seeking their fair share.
For more information on the campaign, visit www.nickelaticket.org.