Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently applauded President Obama for “building on the middle class and not short-changing them like Mitt Romney would do.” But unfortunately, short-changing workers is exactly what Emanuel is doing right here in Chicago.
Since Mayor Emanuel took office, he has eliminated many good jobs and outsourced others to companies that pay lower wages and benefits. Now hundreds of janitors and window washers at O'Hare International Airport lost their jobs on December 14, just days before Christmas, because Mayor Emanuel replaced their employer with United Maintenance, a company with a history of undercutting good jobs. Jobs that were full time and family-sustaining will become part time poverty jobs and hundreds of families may be forced onto taxpayer-funded assistance programs.
Chicago already has the third highest poverty rate, the second highest foreclosure rate, and the highest level of racial income disparity of any city in the country. Despite working harder than ever, average Chicagoans are not seeing the fruits of their labor and Mayor Emanuel is making the situation even worse. He’s making it possible for millionaires and profitable corporations to help themselves to even bigger profits at the expense of good middle class jobs for everybody else.
This is not good public policy for the City of Chicago, and it’s not what constituents expect from a Mayor of the City that works. If we hope to restore the balance to our economy and vitality to our neighborhoods, Mayor Emanuel needs to support good jobs that can sustain families—not corporations that exploit hard-working people for profit.