CHICAGO—Child care workers will engage in a picket at the headquarters of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago this Wednesday, February 21st to protest poverty wages, understaffing and unfair labor practices. The picket will be followed by a press conference announcing the results of a vote to go on an unfair labor practice strike.
On Monday, child care and early learning workers at 10 sites across Chicago held a strike vote following the YMCA’s continued refusal to respect labor law and failure to live up to the organization’s stated commitment to “disrupt the cycle of poverty.”
Workers will be joined by parents, community members and political leaders Commisioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Rep. Litesa Wallace as they discuss the patterns of disinvestment in communities of color and poverty wages, and to announce the results of the strike vote.
Picket and Press Conference of YMCA Child Care Workers, Parents and Community Members Announcing Results of Historic Strike Vote
Wednesday February 21st
4:30 PM: Picket line
5:30 PM: Press Conference. Workers will be joined by YMCA parents, community advocates and community leaders, including:
Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Cook County Board of Commissioners
Rep. Litesa Wallace, Illinois State House of Representatives
Alderman Jason Ervin, Chicago City Council
Brandon Johnson, Candidate for Cook County Board of Commissioners
Delia Ramirez, Candidiate for Illinois State House of Representatives District 4
Ram Villivalam, Candidate for Illinois State Senate District 8
YMCA of Metro Chicago HQ
1030 W Van Buren St, Chicago, IL 60607
To announce the results of a historic strike vote by YMCA child care workers who have endured unfair labor practices, poverty wages and short staffing at the hands of an organization which claims to “disrupt the cycle of poverty.”
The YMCA’s poverty wages create a short-staffing crisis at YMCA-run child care centers that provide care for low-income families. There are currently 50 unfilled child care positions at the YMCA due to high turnover and low wages. YMCA management has called workers’ proposals for living wages “a fantasy” while child care workers and low-income families bear the brunt of the Y’s poverty wages and the YMCA CEO Dick Malone makes $300 per hour.
In the past year, the YMCA of Metro Chicago has closed two locations on the South and West sides of Chicago, while investing heavily in improvements to facilities in Chicago’s north side and suburbs. The closures of sites in South Chicago and Logan Square displaced families from child care and central community spaces.