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UIC workers vow to continue strike, rally with community and labor allies

By Zachary Schultz |
September 20, 2020
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Chicago, IL - On Saturday, September 19, members of SEIU Local 73 continued their strike at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), rallying with community and labor allies. The 4000 workers say they are fighting for UIC to “respect us, protect us and pay us” and have vowed to remain on strike until their demands are met.

The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) finished their seven-day strike at UIC today, although co-chief steward Paul Pater announced that an agreement has not yet been reached, saying, “If we don’t have significant movement when we get back to the table on Monday, we’re going to authorize a vote for a strike, and they are terrified of that, us coming out again with you all.”

Safe staffing, workplace safety, and access to PPE are among the primary issues in the strike. For SEIU Local 73 members, a living wage is also a key demand, as some workers at UIC continue to be paid much less than Chicago’s minimum wage.

Dozens of cars passed by the rally in solidarity with the striking workers, part of a caravan organized by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression for the national day of protest calling for an end to police crimes and community control of police. The strike at UIC has centered the struggle against the oppression of Black people, and the rally enthusiastically greeted the caravan.

Many labor unions were present in solidarity, including the Chicago Teachers Union, American Postal Workers, United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, UIC Graduate Education Organization, and the National Association of Letter Carriers.

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