Chicago: Loretto workers stop deliveries and fight to win
Chicago, IL – 200 workers at Loretto Hospital are on the ninth day of their #StrikeForStaffing. This is their slogan because they are the lowest-paid CNAs, housekeepers and tech workers in any safety net hospital in Chicago. Because of their low wages, workers have to work 50 or 60 hours a week to make ends meet. Being forced to work excessive overtime isn’t best for patient care.
Ebony Childs is a striker who has worked as a patient care tech for 18 years on an addiction unit. On the picket line today, she said, “We are on strike for better wages, for respect, for safe staffing, and for the community to have better service as well.”
On August 7, Mayor Brandon Johnson urged management to come back to the table. At rallies throughout the strike, Illinois legislators have confirmed that the $10 million provided to the hospital this year is for staffing and support.
Other workers shared that there reportedly there are only 20 patients staying in the hospital, yet the bosses have hired scabs at agency wages much higher than the union workers.
To press management to reach a deal at the table, workers have been stopping deliveries by picketing in front of the entrances to the loading docks. According to Childs, the deliveries they have stopped include, “Yes, linen. The food trucks, the medication trucks, the mail. Yesterday I helped stop two FedEx trucks. This morning we stopped a UPS truck. Yesterday we stopped a bread truck, a sterilized equipment truck. And just a few minutes ago, we stopped another big truck. I don't know what type of truck it was, but we was able to stop that one as well!”
Kendra Sims Morris, a substance use disorder counselor, was asked if management respects employees. “Okay, I'll leave you with this. The Bible says that when the righteous is in leadership, you see the people rejoicing. But when the wicked is in leadership, the people are mourning. So if we on a picket line, we're mourning.”