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University of Chicago Workers Win New Contract

By staff |
September 8, 2009
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Chicago, IL - In the final days of August, members of Teamsters Local 743 accepted a new contract at the University of Chicago Medical Center. A month ago, the 1350 workers overwhelmingly rejected an offer from the employer which offered no meaningful pay increases or job security. With this support behind them, the bargaining committee returned to the table and emerged with significant improvements. 68% of their fellow workers voted yes on the new offer.

Local 743 Business Agent J Burger remarked that while the contract has “… more money for our members, of course it doesn’t go far enough.” In looking at the struggle that lies ahead for the union there, Burger said, “This is an aggressive, multi-billion dollar employer. To defend our jobs, and the community and to get what we really need, we’ve got to use our greatest strength - our members.”

Florrie Brooks, a member of the bargaining committee, spoke at a contract rally held one week before the final vote. In her view, the challenge for her coworkers is to realize the power they have at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “We have 1300 people who work here. They couldn’t run this place without us.”

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