Thursday, October 9, 2008

Labor Ready Update

UCC says:

The Uptown community raised $20,000 to file suit against the City, the Zoning Board of Appeals and Labor Ready - in opposition to plans permitting a day labor service on Sheridan Road, north of Lawrence Avenue.

The related hearing has been scheduled for November 19th. There will be no opportunity for public comment or other participation, so we will not be organizing residents to attend. The judge will review transcripts of the original ZBA hearing, as well as the text of our appeal and brief. Attorneys representing both sides will respond to questions from the judge, but this legal matter is essentially a review of the written record. The judge is not expected to rule at the hearing's conclusion. We will communicate the decision as soon as we receive official notification from the court.


  1. This might sound like a dumb question, but why is Labor Ready so bad?

    This should be interesting.

  2. Oh, dear lord.... you've really asked for it now falco

  3. Click on the link and read the Stop Labor Ready website. Basically, it exploits the workers (charges for everything from transportation to work to cashing their checks, leaving them with very little pay for a day of work).

    Ironically, the community activists, such as Shiller, who organized in Uptown in the 1970s were here protesting the day labor agencies that were exploiting the white Appalachians who comprised most of Uptown's population then. Now Shiller is inviting day labor back. She should be ashamed of herself.

  4. "There will be no opportunity for public comment or other participation, so we will not be organizing residents to attend."

    respectfully to the Stop Labor Ready organizers I wonder if this might not be a tactical mistake

    speaking is only one reason to attend a public meeting

    for example, in some of our CAPS organizations we have court advocates who show w/o speaking

  5. Well one reason it is a bad idea is because making plans for a neighborhood should start with first asking the people who live there if they are in favor of it or not. This was another example of the Alderman flat out lying about how much support she had for the changes she needed to make via a zoning change on that block. Turns out surprisingly there were over 50 letters sent to her against this plan and only three for it. This came out in a freedom of information request a Northwestern Student made when they researched the issue. As many of us observe over and over, Helen is never one to let the facts of a situation, stop her from moving forward on what she thinks is a good idea.

  6. I'll bite...

    IMHO, the issue for the larger community beyond the specific concerns that the SLR crowd has been saying is that Labor Ready moves to neighborhoods where there is a functioning social safety net. Our tax and charitable dollars go to support their workers where if Labor Ready actually found a way to provide them a living wage, they could be a partner in moving people towards self-sufficiency rather than Labor Ready being a parasite on an already paltry response.

    The city of Cleveland commissioned a study and this is an excerpt of their conclusions:

    The plight of day laborers in Cleveland, which is documented in this report, makes it
    clear that the day labor agencies in this city are not paying the true cost of labor. As a
    result, they are producing unnecessary hardships for their employees and creating
    extensive costs for the larger community.

    Helen Shiller is on the wrong side of this issue especially when she has literally MILLIONS of dollars at her disposal that can be used to either generate economic development that would lead to jobs with benefits or job rehabilitation programs. Instead, she pursues more housing that the poor currently living in Uptown will probably not be able to access unless they are already on the CHA waitlist or are low income seniors.

    TSN is right. If you didn't know anything about Uptown and you heard that the Alderman was supporting Labor Ready coming in, you would assume that Shiller was some kind of conservative and definitely NOT an aging radical 60's agitator.

    Here is the Cleveland study if you want to read it. The day labor agencies returned hardly any value to the communities they went to when compared to how much private and public support was necessary in order to maintain the working population they drew upon.

    Challenging Exploitation in Cleveland

  7. The other side of this issue, is the location of the proposed Labor Ready site. It's across the street from the Boys & Girls Club, and McCutcheon Elementary School. The developers of this program have not provided any assurances as to the backgrounds of the individuals who would be lining up outside (across the street) from these venues full of children. For all we know, there can be pedophiles, kidnappers, rapists, murderes, etc. in that line.

    Granted, these kinds of people already exist in our neighborhood, and others... but something like Labor Ready is likely to have a higher opportunity for such types of people. Why locate this across the street from an easy, vulnerable target? The location does NOT make sense, and it is also one of the more difficult areas for day laborers to access. There is another location by the Ravenswood Metra stop that was proposed, but rejected. Why? Shiller insists that this be in HER ward! Why does she want it now, when she fought against it then?

    Among the letters for NO that she received, was the very public notices from both the Boys and Girls Club, McCutcheon and Goudy all telling Shiller they do NOT want this possibly very dangerous situation invited into our neighborhood.

    Don't we have enough trouble right now, more than we can handle, without inviting MORE?

    And before everyone jumps all over me 'why do you assume the poor people who need work are dangerous ex-cons?' I'm not saying they all are... but it would be dangerously naive to assume they are all innocent angels who just need a job. The people who would run this organization have already asserted that they could not (read would not) screen people thoroughly enough to ensure that they aren't dangerous to the community... or legal citizens.

    Shiller has already proven herself completely unwilling to lift a finger against crime, drug dealing, gangs and murder in her ward, so why should we trust her in this issue, or any other for that matter? For those that support her, PLEASE tell us, what she has done (in the last 10 years) for Uptown that had a positive, growth producing effect for this community? What has she done to make the 46th safer? I would really like to know.

  8. I hate to tell you all this but I used to work for labor ready, they dont hire anyone. If you have a something serious in your background...rape, murder, etc. They wont hire you. Yeah they offer shitty pay for work but its something.