McDonald’s Workers Fight Harassment, More Mayoral Candidates, Van Dyke Trial Continues – TCT 09-19-18

We’re back after an extra long Riot Fest weekend and some backend website stuff. So much has happened since last week, it feels like that might as well have been a month’s worth of news. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in:

Fight For 15 Stages One Day Strike at McDonald’s Over Harassment

Fast food workers with McDonald’s staged a one-day strike in Chicago and several other cities nationwide Tuesday to protest what they say is a “failure to address groping, lewd comments, propositions for sex and other illegal behavior” by the company.

Fast food workers with the Fight For 15 campaign demonstrate outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters in the West Loop in 2017. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

About 100 workers rallied outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters in the West Loop in the early afternoon. “The sexual harassment I’ve witnessed and experienced has been happening since the day I began working for McDonald’s over two decades ago,” said Teresa Cervantes, who detailed an incident involving a manager accusing her of wanting to have sex with another manager.

The workers, part of the Fight for 15 movement, are demanding the fast food behemoth form a committee to address sexual harassment in the workplace comprised of workers, leaders of national women’s groups, and representatives from both corporate and franchise stores.

“Today fast-food workers, just like me, are breaking the silence,” Adriana Alvarez told the crowd, according to the Sun-Times. “We’re taking this historic step and we’re going on strike to tell McDonald’s, ‘No more sexual harassment.’”

McDonald’s employees filed 10 charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May detailing what they say is widespread sexual harassment at the company. It’s not the first time the chain has been hit with several EEOC charges. Workers with Fight for 15 filed 15 complaints in 2016, and at least one in 2017, alongside other EEOC charges against various Burger King locations.

“Despite the spotlight on the issue in Hollywood and the media, little has changed for the burger giant’s frontline workers,” wrote Fight for 15 in a press release.

Even More Mayoral Candidates Join the Fray

At least three more candidates are expected to join an already extremely crowded field for the 2019 mayoral race this week.

Former chief of staff for Barack Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton, and brother of former mayor Richard M Daley, Bill Daley announced Monday he’s running to occupy the office on the 5th floor of City Hall.

“This is home,” Mr. Daley said in an interview with the New York Times on Monday. “This is where we live. This is where I’ll die.

Daley, now 70, is the youngest child of former mayor Richard J Daley, who served as mayor from 1955 to 1976. Richard M Daley took the mayoral reigns in 1989 and held them until he chose not to run again in 2011.

“It’s kind of basic: We have a certain love for this city, even though it’s a difficult time,” he said. “It’s important for me to continue to try to be part of the city and add something.”

As if the field of now 14 candidates isn’t crowded enough, at least two more candidates, quite possible three, are expected to formally announce their entries this week.

Attorney Gery Chico, who served as Mayor Richard M. Daley’s chief of staff and came in second place to Rahm Emanuel in the 2011 election said he plans to announce his campaign on Thursday.

“I bring distinguishable experiences running very important parts of this city, I’ve done the work and I’m ready to do it,” Chico told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday. “I’m prepared to run the city of Chicago, and that’s what we’re talking about here.”

Chico won’t be alone Thursday, as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also plans to announce her candidacy at an event in the afternoon. Sources said she was mulling a potential mayoral run earlier this month, and shortly after she created an exploratory committee for her potential bid.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia gives his concession speech in his runoff for mayor with Rahm Emanuel in 2015. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

It’s also possible Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia might make an announcement concerning his potential bid this week as well, sources told ABC7. Outgoing Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-4th) announced last week that he was trying to draft Garcia to run, and petitions have been circulating for his candidacy. Garcia pushed Emanuel into a runoff during last election cycle.

Van Dyke Trial Continues

Testimony in the Jason Van Dyke trial began this week on Monday and will continue through the week. Van Dyke, a former Chicago Police officer is charged with the first degree of Laquan McDonald, who he shot 16 times in 2014, killing him. The release of dashcam video of the shooting sparked a wave of local and national protests.

Jury selection wrapped last week and the trial began on Monday. So far 17 people have been called to the witness stand in two days, including Officer Joseph Walsh, who was Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting. According to WGN, Walsh is facing his own felony case for his role in allegedly trying to cover up the incident.

Van Dyke is the first police officer in Chicago to be charged with an on duty murder in several decades.

According to ABC7, prosecutors argued Monday that the shooting was both unjustified and rooted in racism.

“There’s no dispute Laquan had this knife,” said Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon. “What he did see was a black boy walking down the street on Pulaski towards a chain link fence and having the audacity to ignore the police.”

McMahon withdrew four of the first degree murder charges against Van Dyke, who now faces two counts, along with one count of official misconduct and 16 counts of aggravated battery.

Recommended Reads:

CPS Fingerprinting Rule Is Meant To Keep Kids Safe — But It’s Also Pushing Immigrant Parents Away – Alex V Hernandez/Block Club Chicago

The Grid: Exploring the Bridgeport neighborhood – Ji Suk Yi/Chicago Sun-Times


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Aaron Cynic

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