Congress Hotel: Six Years of Worker Injustice

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A year ago I reported from the fifth year anniversary of Chicago’s Congress Park Hotel strike. I’m sorry to say that today, one year later, I joined an even larger throng of marching, chanting, protesting Chicagoans along Michigan Avenue.

It’s not all bad – there have been encouraging signs that the strike is having an impact. Over the past year, strikers have led over 500 actions in Chicago, confronting top city leaders and national convention planners.  In the last few months, three major conventions have jumped ship;  in the past year alone, $700,000 worth of business has been moved from the Congress Hotel. You may remember that not long ago I blogged about Sam Hamer, the Northside Prep senior from my congregation who organized to have his High School’s prom moved out of the Congress. (That’s me and Sam at today’s demonstration below.)

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If you don’t know about the longest currently running labor strike in the US, I urge you to click the links on this post. And here’s two more while I’m at it: this morning, Chicago Public Radio aired an interview with journalist Nathaniel Popper, who wrote an important article for the Jewish Forward earlier this month that explored the complicated Jewish role in the Congress Hotel crisis. (As I wrote last year, the word “Shande” comes to mind…)

Here’s hoping I’m not blogging about this one year from now.

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