Join us at the CTU Candidates Forum for the 2nd Congressional District as the candidates answer questions regarding topics important to our community including: Labor, Immigration, Violence and Housing.
Sign up for our upcoming Citizenship Workshop
CTU conducted its 2nd Citizenship Workshop onSaturday, December 17, 2011 at St. George Church in the Southeast side of Chicago:
- 32 applicants began their process of becoming citizens
- 30 volunteers and supporters assisted in the event
- CTU commits to conducting two citizenship workshops a year in the south side of Chicago and south suburbs
- Instituto del Progreso Latino assisted with the legal team and submission of applications
Fiama Nehme, resident of Chicago, volunteered with CTU on the workshop and shares her experience. "I truly enjoy volunteering with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos and Instituto del Progreso Latino on the Citizenship Workshop. Volunteering for this event gave me the opportunity to assist all those men and women taking the next step in recognizing and being recognize as of great importance in this society. It was with pleasure I participated in the process, helping all those that walked-in to get their forms and documentation ready counting on us to guide them through the process."
U.S. Department of Labor Holds a Hearing in the Southeast side of Chicago on Wage Theft and Identifies Solutions
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) joins with National People’s Action and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: Immigrant Workers Project (CTU), West Suburban Action Project/Proyecto de Accion de los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) and Latinos Unidos para Cambio de IAP to hear concerns from wage theft victims and jointly identify solutions that will halt the practice. A hearing was held in Chicago on Saturday, May 21, 2011 where workers provided testimonies and community leaders spoke on issues that directly affect them.
The practice of wage theft has risen as employers take advantage of high unemployment to steal wages from workers who are afraid of joining the unemployment lines, costing the average worker $2,634 yearly. It includes violations of minimum wage laws; not paying time and half overtime pay; forcing workers to work off the clock; workers not receiving their final paychecks; misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime.
Several community organizations and leaders support state legislation introduced by Senator Kimberly Lightford (SB 1565) that would increase the Illinois minimum wage to $10.65 by 2014. Workers in the southeast side of Chicago speak in support of this proposed legislation as they face the hard consequences of living in poverty. "My husband and I work full-time and still do not have enough money to support our family. Every week I have to pay $100 in gas and pay other bills, which leave me with no money for other expenses," states Laila Aleman.
After several months of discussion with the employer of the Cell Phone Depot, an agreement has been reached to pay workers owed wages stemming from minimum wage and overtime and signs the Code of Conduct [a mutual agreement between the employer and community that the employer will respect the rights of its workers]. On October 2011, Isabel Maldonado, current employee of Cell Phone Depot, feared that she would be retaliated along with her brother, for filling a lawsuit against her employer. Isabel decided to take a more active approach by going public announcing to the media the working conditions and community organizing to put pressure on the employer for his bad practices.
After several months of dialogue, with the support of the Illinois Department of Labor and Just Pay For All, emergency rules on SB 3568 have been approved. Advocates and allies are pleased that these rules are enacted and that the workers throughout Illinois will be able to resolve their claims in a matter of months not years. By implementing these rules, Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) will have the tools to continue enforcing judgements against employers who refuse to pay its workers and the IDOL will continue to work with the communities, whose workers are struggling to survive in these tough economic times.
Visit www.iljustpayforall.org for more information.
On October 21st CTU hosts a meeting with the Illinois Department of Labor, Rep. Lisa Hernandez and Rep. Marlow Colvin to discuss with affected community members the rules and implementation of the new anti-wage theft law passed by the Just Pay for All coalition; Latino Union, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Workers Collaborative, Working Hands Legal Clinic.
Check out the Just Pay for All Website for more info.
CTU would like to congratulate Father Carl Quebedeaux in winning the Angelina Marquez Lifetime Dedication Award, in recognition of exceptional service to Hispanic ministry. Your contribution to the immigrant Latino community is without measure. CTU is honored to have Father Carl be an integral part of our organization.