Last Thursday, April 28, we honored Workers’ Memorial Day and mourned the deaths of Illinois and Americans who lost their lives on the job. We were faced with stark reminders of how far worker safety has come – and how far we still have to go.
Over time, workers and unions have fought to make sure big business doesn’t skimp on worker safety, and it shows. Illinois has a lower workplace death rate than our neighbors in Indiana, a state about half our size, and that’s not by mistake. Supporting strong labor laws and workplace protections has made Illinois a safer and more prosperous place, but we still lose more than 100 workers a year to preventable workplace deaths.
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Workers, from carpenters to firefighters, routinely work in hazardous environments. And in too many cases, their employers are willing to cut corners on workplace safety, with devastating results like what we saw in Edwardsville, when workers weren’t told where to go. shelter in an Amazon warehouse during a tornado, which cost six of our neighbors their lives.
Too many workers across Illinois are forced to work in similarly dangerous conditions, with no real recourse to raise safety concerns without fear of losing their jobs in an act of retaliation. Every worker in Illinois deserves better. This November, workers are on the ballot.
In the general election, we have the opportunity to vote yes on Amendment 1, the Workers’ Rights Amendment, which would update our state’s constitution to guarantee workers in Illinois their right to raise issues. important safety measures and to ensure that every Illinoisan has access to a safe workplace. .
There has never been a more important time to stand with Illinois workers and support their right to safer working conditions. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been forced to watch working families suffer, while our nation’s largest companies reap record profits, quarter after quarter. The Workers’ Rights Amendment can level the playing field for workers across the state and put power back in the hands of every company’s greatest asset: its workers.
Illinois has a proud tradition of standing by our working families. Passing the Workers’ Rights Amendment and enshrining those rights in our state constitution would send a loud and clear message to the rest of the country that Illinois will not compromise on the backs of working people.
Help us make Illinois a state of workers’ rights. Vote yes on Amendment 1 in November.
Tim Drea, President, Illinois AFL-CIO
Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor
No Test, No Liability for Chicago Schools
So speaking and reflecting our society, Chicago Public Schools have now dropped the School Assessment and Ranking Test and replaced it with…nothing. In this respect, CPS is now like its students: it would rather get rid of the tests than confront its dismal performance.
CPS says it abandoned the standards because it seeks a new approach “reflecting the values of the community.” But having no test, no accountability and instead focusing on “resources and inputs” reflects community values today. Today’s values include lack of accountability, blaming others, and if you don’t like the results, then just throw it away.
I could hand the CPS a blank check with unlimited resources — just like the federal government did during the pandemic — and little would change. This is all a sad joke and undermines those we claim to help: the children.
William Choslovsky, CPS Parent, Sheffield Neighbors
Speed cameras are better than nothing
In response to the Illinois Policy Institute author, whose letter criticized the city’s speed camera program, a few questions arise, primarily: What happened to the idea of holding people accountable for their acts? The current program is easy to criticize, but remember it does not engage in any profiling, racial or otherwise. If you speed up, you pay — period.
I would know, having received one of these tickets myself last year for speeding near a park. The citation was deserved, and it was paid. The author cites the example of a park area on the south side where the most citations were issued. Elders, parents and children frequent these parks and deserve a safe environment.
If so many motorists choose to recklessly drive past this park, I hope the city puts them out of business. It’s better than having to live by killing someone.
Finally, it’s doubtful whether the writer or anyone else at the Illinois Policy Institute was ever at the scene where a child was killed by speeding. This letter to the editor would never have been written if they had.
David L. Milligan, Portage Park
Lack of White Sox hustle
In the ninth inning of a tie on Thursday, a win pulled off an 8-game losing streak, Tim Anderson hit the ground and clearly took over the top spot as if at a leisurely trot. It turns out that even if he had run at a reasonable pace, he would have been safe due to an errant throw. Unsurprisingly, Tony La Russa defended his shortstop.
Rick Renteria had his faults as a manager, but the only thing he had was players who were always jostling or sitting on the bench. Win or lose, the team was fun to watch. I sincerely hope that we are not on the way back to the sleepy days of the Robin Ventura era. Our team is too talented for that. Not hustling is not acceptable.
John Farrell, DeKalb