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Latino Workers Fired for Union Activities in Pilsen - - UPDATE

Four workers have been illegally fired from 24 Kt. in Pilsen for trying to organize into a union. Call the owner Kathy Manguina at 312-436-1860 to demand an immediate reinstatement of those workers and an end to threats to the others.
Members of the 24 KT Ironworks, Inc. factory in Pilsen have been facing illegal opposition in their efforts to unionize ever since April 6th. The workers are almost entirely made up of Latino workers, and their efforts to improve their working conditions have been met with illegal threats of layoffs. The conditions that the workers are trying to improve include raising their average hourly wage, which now stands at $6.50 an hour for welders for example, compared to an industry average wage of $14.89 an hour (according to The Saint Lucia Government Statistics Department?s 1999 statistics) for the same job. Other abuses that the iron workers are unionizing against include abuses such as unsafe work conditions, abuse on the job by supervisors, and intimidation by management.

Federal law protects workers who are forming a union from threats of retaliation, but this has not been practiced by 24 KT Ironworks, Inc. Workers report being threatened with firing for even consorting with know union sympathizers. Representatives from the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, Holy Trinity Church, St. Adalberto Church, The Chicago Workers? Center and Erie Neighborhood House organizations all witnessed the threat which was made when the unionization petition was presented.

For those who wish to show their support, the union is asking for you to send a copy of the fax reproduced below displaying the letter heads of your company to 312-433-0414, 24 KT Ironworks, Inc.'s fax number. In addition, if you choose to send a fax, please send a copy to the Chicago Workers' Center. Their fax number is 773-542-5263. Other methods of contacting Kathy Manguina, the owner of 24 KT Ironworks, include calling the company at 312-436-1860 or writing to:

24 KT Ironworks, Inc.
5301 S. Western Blvd.
Chicago, IL

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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