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O’Hare Workers Contract Dispute

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel awarded an O’Hare Airport maintenance contract to United Maintenance.  Current janitorial workers at O’Hare are protesting the contract and the job cuts.

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Protesters came “a caroling” at Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s home Thursday night on the north side.

Angry O’Hare janitors carried signs reading “Rahm equals job killer.”

They are afraid that 350 O’Hare janitors will lose their jobs Friday.

They want the mayor to re-bid the maintenance contract awarded to United Maintence.

The janitors claim the company has mob ties and plans to replace them with lower paid workers.

Mayor Emanuel says the firm has already hired back 100 janitors and he stands by the contract.

A labor contract at O’Hare Airport is going to leave 350 workers out of a job just weeks before Christmas and today, the mayor reacted to his decision to go with a firm mired in controversy.

Alleged mob ties and cheap labor are just some of reasons one union is using the rest of this week begging the mayor to rebid the custodial contract at O’Hare Airport.

President of the Chicago Federation of Labor Jorge Ramirez is not giving up the good fight, he says. Mayor Emanuel has until Friday to decide if he will rebid the $99 million  five year custodial contract already awarded to Richard Simon. Simon is the United Maintenance owner who SEIU Local 1 accuses of having ties to the mob.

Despite the good working relationship between the mayor and the union head, they dont see eye to eye when it comes to this contract.

But it is very likely going to happen. The contract would cut costs and save the city close to $10 million.

Killing the SEIU contract weeks before Christmas has prompted protestors to take to the streets in recent days

While their efforts are’ going unnoticed, it seems clear today that the deal is done.

Union leaders and supporters protest at City Hall Wednesday.

Members of SEIU Local 1, the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and others called on Mayor Emanuel to reconsider the new janitor’s contract with United Maintenance at O’Hare Airport. The agreement is worth $99 million and goes into effect on Friday. The current janitors at the airport are worried that cheaper, non-union workers will replace them.

United Maintenance insists it will offer better benefits and wages.

The mayor claims the bidding process was fair, and this contract will save money and offer better services.

But, the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor isn’t giving up his battle.

“We represent workers. We fight for workers and we fight for the middle class. That’s what we do. That’s a hill we’re supposed to die on. That’s something that i’m happy and glad to do everyday,” said Jorge Ramirez.

This was written by WGN-TV News Writer C. Hayes, and reported by WGN reporter Tonya Francisco

As O’Hare maintenance workers marched to Mayor Emanuel‘s Chicago house Thursday, a WGN investigation uncovers questionable business ties to the firm the mayor just awarded to clean the airport.

ohareThe picketing workers are worried United Maintenance will hire cheaper non-union workers and oust them.

But why this firm got the contract is raising eyebrows after we reveal its past business is a reputed mobster.

Angry airport workers held a protest outside Mayor Emanuel’s home Thursday afternoon.

They say they’re fighting for their jobs.  The workers are afraid that they will be laid off, and their jobs farmed out to private contractors.

The mayor allegedly wants to safe money at O’Hare.  The workers say they should not be sacrificed to do it.

The protestors say more demonstrations will be planned and carried out until they are sure they won’t loose their jobs.