Cook County workers, represented by SEIU Local 73, picketed multiple locations across the County today as their strike for a fair contract began at 6:00 am this morning.
Yesterday, Toni Preckwinkle’s negotiators walked out on bargaining and have refused to come back to the table.
Labor leaders and public officials rallied with the workers at Stroger Hospital.
“We are here to send a message loud and clear to President Preckwinkle. If you are concerned at all about your legacy, then do what is right! There is never a bad time to do what is right,” said Dian Palmer, President of Local 73. “These workers have shown up to make this County work. We are going to stay on this line until we get a fair contract. There ain’t no stopping us now!”
“I’m here to fight,” said Sylvia Kizer, Environmental Services Worker at Stroger Hospital. “They’re doubling our health insurance. Forcing me to choose between paying for my healthcare or putting food on my table. That’s not right!”
“You are the reason we are surviving right now and you deserve to see that in your paycheck,” said State Rep. Lakesia Collins (D-9). “As the state representative of this district and a former nursing home worker, I am standing with you until you get everything that you deserve.”
“My union which represents nursing home workers, hospital workers, home and childcare workers are standing strong with you today to say when we fight we win,” said Greg Kelley, President of SEIU HCII.
“We provide critical services throughout the County,” said Joyce Klein, Social Worker at Stroger Hospital. “We have been continually disrespected by Toni Preckwinkle so we will continue to fight for the contract we deserve. Because we deserve better than this!”
“On behalf of our 50,000 members, we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers at Local 73,” said Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1. “I want to send a message to Toni Preckwinkle, you better come back to the bargaining table now, because if you don’t, I want you to hear this loud and clear, as long as these workers are on strike we’re standing with them!”
Cook County workers will be striking at Stroger Hospital from 8 am to Noon on Saturday, June 26. There will be a rally with community organizations supporting the workers at 11 am.
Local 73 Cook County workers will continue to remain on strike until Toni Preckwinkle returns to the bargaining table and a fair contract has been reached.