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Strikers demand justice from 'Grinch'

Holiday shoppers at Marshall Fields Department Store were startled by the site of striking workers from Carousel Linens and their supporters amid the racks of clothing and shelves of appliances on December 8. The strikers, chanting “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” were chasing the Grinch decked out in Santa attire, from floor to floor. He reportedly resembles Carousel boss Scott Close.
Strikers demand justice from ‘Grinch’
By John Bachtell
Peoples Weekly World

Chicago - Holiday shoppers at Marshall Fields Department Store were startled by the site of striking workers from Carousel Linens and their supporters amid the racks of clothing and shelves of appliances on December 8. The strikers, chanting “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” were chasing the Grinch decked out in Santa attire, from floor to floor. He reportedly resembles Carousel boss Scott Close.
As shoppers jostled to get pictures of the Grinch they were handed leaflets detailing the grievances of strikers. Shoppers were urged to press Marshall Fields to drop its contract with Carousel.
Forty industrial laundry workers have been on strike against Carousel, located in suburban Highwood, for 10 weeks. They are demanding union recognition for UNITE, increased wages and benefits and improved working conditions.
“It is horrible that workers and their families have to put up with this,” said one shopper. “I come from a union household and support you 100%. Everyone deserves a living wage.”
“No one wants to be on strike during the holidays. We have children who won’t get presents this year. But we will do what we have to until we get justice,” responded one of the strikers.
Marshall Fields was one target of a flying picket aimed at Carousel Linen clients in the downtown Loop organized by UNITE, the strikers and Chicago Jobs with Justice. This included a spirited picketline in front of the Chicago Athletic Association and the American Medical Association where they were joined by striking V & V Supremo workers.
On December 15 strikers joined with Jobs with Justice and the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee to protest the use of sweatshop labor in garments sold at Niketown and Gucci. They also joined security guards represented by SEIU Local 1 whose contract expires at the end of the year.
Carousel is employing scab labor. This was the tenth time strikers had visited Marshall Fields urging them to take their business elsewhere. They are working hard to expand the boycott during the crucial holiday season when so many parties and banquets are held. Abbott Laboratories and ARAMARK are the largest clients yet to agree to the boycott. If they get on board it may be enough to force the Grinch have a change of heart.
Messages of solidarity can be sent to UNITE, Chicago & Central States Joint Board, 333 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago IL 60607-2775; fax 312-738-9985.
 
 

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