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SK Hand Tool Strike enters second week

By Stephanie Weiner |
September 5, 2009
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Photo of strikers picketing next to the street outside SK Hand Tool
SK Hand Tool workers on strike for health insurance. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chicago, IL - As the strike at SK Hand Tool moves into its second week, it is clear it is picking up momentum. On Sept. 2 a contingent of workers went downtown to tell their strike story to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who was in town to present a Labor Day speech.  

Solis posed for pictures with SK workers John McHale, Julio Covar and Victor Moran and spoke with Emilio Lunar. Solis said that her father had been a Teamster and that she, “knew all about the SK Tool strike and was looking into it.” The question posed to her from the floor in front of media and labor leaders at the luncheon was an attempt to bring the real life situation of shafted SK Tool workers with no health insurance into the national debate about health care.  

This week the SK Tool workers will testify to the National Labor Relations Board about the illegal cutting off of their health insurance. The French owner did not even tell the workers that they were no longer covered as their medical bills piled up.  

Solidarity messages from across the country are beginning to pour into the Teamster 743 office and on the strike support Facebook page as plans develop for a national day of action.  

The Labor Secretary's office called the Teamsters the very next day to follow up and get a copy of the actual workers’ contract. Governor Quinn announced that he will walk with the strikers next week. All these things make the workers optimistic that a victory is coming.