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Mayor Averts Showdown at Chicago O’Hare

At the end of June, Mayor Rahm Emanuel averted a City Council Showdown on an airport living wage ordinance with a plan to tie O’Hare Airport contractor licenses to a “labor peace agreement,” which would allow 8,000 airport workers to join unions. The agreement would require anyone applying for a license to have a labor peace agreement with a labor union or to allow the union to have access to their people in order to organize or reach an agreement. Aderman Ameya Pawar, a Democratic candidate for governor, says, “If this deal gets done, this could be one of the biggest wins for workers and organized labor in the country in recent years.”

Organized labor’s City Council allies and unions seeking to represent airport workers have held a series of O’Hare protests to press pay demands and claim $1.2 million in “wage theft” from hundreds of airport employees.