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ACTION ALERT: Immigrant Union Leaders Threatened for Organizing

Friday, April 06, 2001

The manager of an ironworks factory in Pilsen threatened to fire all of the workers when he was told that the workers had decided to organize with the Ironworkers Union, Local 473. Almost all of the workers are latino and are organizing because of abuse on the job by supervisors, threats and intimidation, unsafe conditions in the factory and to negotiate for better wages (welders are paid only $6.50/hour) and for benefits. The factory is called 24 KT Ironworks, Inc. and is located at 2136 S. Ashland (Ashland and Cermak).

Workers have a right to organize a union without retaliation under federal law. The illegal threat was made in front of representatives of Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, Holy Trinity Church, St. Adalberto Church, The Chicago Workers’ Center and Erie Neighborhood House who accompanied Union Representatives to present the unionization petition.

We are concerned that the owner of the factory will follow through on the threat to fire some are all of the employees unless she recognizes the community, churches, politicians and other unions are watching and are prepared to support the workers of 24 Kt. We would like her to get that message before she carries out the threat.

We are asking you to fax a letter of support on your organization’s letterhead to the factory as soon as possible. A sample letter is included for you to look at, but please feel free to modify or change it for your organization.

Please send the letter to:

Kathy Manguina
24 KT Ironworks, Inc.
312-433-0414 Fax

Please send a copy to:

Chicago Workers’ Center
773-542-5263 Fax

Sample Letter:

Dear Ms. Manguina:

We understand that the workers at your company, 24 KT. Ironworks, Inc., have decided to form a Union to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment in good faith with you. We want you to know that we support the workers right to make that choice free from interference or intimidation from you or your managers.

We were shocked to hear that one of your managers threatened to fire all of the employees if they chose to exercise their rights. This type of threat is not only illegal, but is unacceptable in this community. We hope that you will do the right thing and sit down with your employees and their Union to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract that will benefit everyone.

[Put in sentence about your organization.] We want to assure you that we will be watching this situation very closely.




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