Last Straw for Chicago Embroiderers: Working Through Thanksgiving

Amien Essif

Workers at an Artistic Stitches factory in Chicago announced a union drive victory on Thursday. After allegedly working Thanksgiving Day without holiday pay, the non-union workers went on a spontaneous walk-out on November 26 followed by a petition for union election on December 14, according to the National Labor Relations Board. The embroidery workers' grievances also include allegations of a cycle of firing workers only to rehire them at apprentice wages. DNAinfo.com reports that about 60 workers at the embroidery factory are now represented by Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The labor blog “Dignity at Work” celebrated the news, saying it "shows the potential for labor’s revitalization at a time when it is in deep distress."

Amien Essif is a regular contributor to Working In These Times and maintains a blog called The Gazine, which focuses on consumerism, gentrification, and technology with a Luddite bent. His work has also appeared on the Guardian and CounterPunch. You can find him using Twitter reluctantly: @AmienChicago
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