Picketers Demand Local (Union) Labor at Costco

Seems like the Gazette’s missing the real story here:

A group of unemployed tradespeople, many with union cards, have been picketing Near West Side construction sites for more than a month, demanding that community workers get a share of both local building jobs as well as permanent retail positions.

via Gazette Chicago.

From what I can tell from the photos, not a single non-union person was there standing around doing nothing (a/k/a protesting.)  All the non-union people were working hard building something.

“Hundreds” of qualified tradespeople in and around the area who “worked on jobs in Roosevelt Square, Fosco Park, and the Engine 18 firehouse” are available to work, Loving said.

Just exactly what are these hundreds of “tradespeople” qualified to do?  I’m pretty familiar with the area — I’ve lived in and around the area since 1988.  I don’t see a whole lot of pick-up trucks with tools in the back driving around in the area.  I do see a lot of $500 cars with $5,000 kicker boxes in the back.

And on and on it goes.  It’s basically a PSA for Brother Dickens.  I wonder how I can get the Gazette to give me 300 words to do with what I want.

The minister and community organizer said he has seen “a lot of dashed hopes” since the area began its current renaissance. “Our people are not working,” Loving added. “Jones College Prep is going up even as we speak. That’s an $85 million project, but we’re not working on that. How’s that happening? All I’m saying is that we need jobs.”

What kinda skills do these people have?

Bro. Byron Dickens was protesting to make sure local residents get a fair share of jobs.

So is this really the issue?  Because there was a lot of news about how Costco got that site.  And the truth is…

Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) earlier predicted Costco can be expected to bring 600 construction jobs, and full- and part-time retail jobs once the 50,000-square foot store opens.

Fioretti said the first day of Costco’s hiring fair this coming spring will be exclusively for 2nd Ward residents.

Oh, that.  That’s right, I remember now.  Costco said it would give preferential hiring to residents in the 2nd Ward.

…  Dickens and Loving said they are out tomake sure the neighbors get their share of those jobs.

What are they talking about?!  If the local folks are really qualified they have first chance at those jobs.   The even have an entire exclusive day to apply before anyone outside the area can apply.

Jeesh!!  I mean, what’s it going to take to make you satisfied?

Loving said the patience of some of the unemployed is wearing thin.

Uh oh.  What does that mean?  Ya know what I think?  I think that the good Brother Dickens is tied into the whole “protest movement” that we’ve been hearing so much about lately.  His job is to keep the people angry and on edge so they can be “mobilized” for a major event when the time comes.

We’ll see.