New-Fashioned Unions: A Profile of Arise Chicago

Source: Erica Ellen Phillips, Is Greater Than, April 15, 2009

For the first time in more than 50 years organized labor is making a comeback, as Worker Center communities lend a voice to low-wage and immigrant workers.

When the United Electrical union workers at Chicago’s Republic Windows and Doors occupied their factory in the cold, early days of December last year, they were not alone. Hundreds of activists and community members turned out in solidarity, standing out front with picket signs and providing food for the workers inside. Many of these supporters were organized by a local group called Arise Chicago (formerly Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues), an example of a labor organizing model that is growing in cities across the country.

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