Last March, the Chicago Department of Transportation said it was planning to install about 150 accessible pedestrian signals in 2022 and 2023. So far, only nine of those signals are actually up and running – and only eight of them are new, since one of those installations was an upgrade to an older signal.
Stories by nick blumberg
Jan 27, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Jan 23, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
In 2019, WTTW News covered his successful push for the CTA to add gender affirming care to its health insurance policy. The employee behind that push has since been fired and is now suing the agency and his union.
From Starbucks to Marijuana Dispensaries, 2022 Marked a Year of Gains for Labor Organizers in Chicago, US
Dec 27, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Workers at high-profile companies like Amazon and Starbucks have unionized, as have employees at smaller chains and locally-owned firms. Chicago workers have also been part of the wave. Here’s a look at some of the big developments over the past year.
Dec 16, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Workers at six Starbucks locations in Chicago and the suburbs are joining a nationwide wave of three-day unfair labor practice strikes aimed at the mega-coffee retailer, organizers say.
CTA Works to Tackle Huge Staffing Shortfall, Improve Service and Draw Back Riders Before Stimulus Funding Runs Out
Dec 6, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Hiring bonuses, retention bonuses and a raise for new employees are all part of the CTA’s plan to attract and keep bus and train operators and mechanics as the agency claws its way out of a huge staffing shortfall.
CTA Overtime Spikes as Agency Hit By Departures; Dozens of Bus and Train Operators Paid for Average Weeks of 80 Hours or More
Dec 5, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
A WTTW News analysis of CTA bus and train operator work records from 2015 to 2021 shows a growing number of employees paid for long average workweeks, which experts say raises questions about worker and passenger safety and the agency’s bottom line.
Nov 17, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Starbucks workers at coffee shops in Bucktown, Edgewater, northwest suburban Cary, and west suburban Elmhurst joined a nationwide strike Thursday aimed at coinciding with the coffee giant’s popular “Red Cup Day” promotion, organizers say.
Nov 15, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The CTA’s Board of Directors approved a $1.8 billion operating budget for 2023, a plan that doesn’t include fare increases for passengers. But with ridership still down from pre-pandemic levels, the budget relies on nearly $400 million in federal stimulus money to make up for lost fare revenue.
Chicago Bakery, Staffing Company Move to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit Brought By Black Temp Workers
Nov 14, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
A staffing agency and the bakery’s then-owner are set to pay more than $1 million to settle the case. Worker advocates say the suit points to widespread problems faced by temp workers, and the possible legislative solutions.
Nov 10, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The transit agency’s leader talked about what the CTA is doing to address staff shortages, homelessness, crime and more. And alderpeople told him what they’re hearing from constituents and seeing for themselves: long waits, angry riders and a tough road back to regular service.
Preckwinkle Declares Victory, Republicans Lead Races For 2 Cook County Board Seats Democrats Hoped to Flip
Nov 9, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
With voting coming to a close in Cook County, Board President Toni Preckwinkle is vying for a fourth term in office and fellow Democrats are looking to maintain the party’s control on all countywide seats.
Oct 26, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The unionization announcement comes one day after Lakeview Starbucks employees voted 11-to-1 in favor of representation, according to voting results shared by organizers. On Monday, Glenview Starbucks workers announced they plan to organize as well.
Oct 25, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Workers at a Lakeview Starbucks voted 11-1 on Tuesday to form a union, according to vote results shared by organizers.
Oct 13, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Starbucks is shutting down one of the first Chicago locations where workers unionized – just days before the company was set to begin negotiations on a contract.
Oct 11, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Employees at Amazon’s MDW2 warehouse in Joliet walked off the job Tuesday afternoon, saying the company has not provided a safe work environment or adequate pay.
Oct 3, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Chanting “Housing is a human right! Lightfoot will not stop our fight!” and “Lo-ri! We’re calling on you!” anti-homelessness activists staged a tent city at City Hall to demand a dedicated funding stream for subsidized housing, just as Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered her yearly budget address.
Advocates Say Cleanup of Coal Ash at Northwest Indiana Power Plant Leaves Regional Water Supply at Risk
Sep 26, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Northern Indiana Public Service Company is retiring the 130-acre Michigan City Generating Station, which has been burning coal for electricity for nearly a century. The company is also cleaning up decades of coal ash byproduct. But advocates say plans to leave some coal ash on the site puts groundwater and Lake Michigan in danger of contamination.
Sep 22, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Employees at a Starbucks in west suburban Elmhurst say they’ve filed for union representation, joining hundreds of other coffee shops around the country and in the Chicago area.
Sep 21, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The Chicago Fire’s plan is set to transform the vacant Near West Side property into practice soccer fields and a training and administrative building. The empty land was part of the massive CHA complex known as the Addams-Brooks-Loomis-Abbott homes.
Sep 14, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
House lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on barriers workers say they face to organizing, and what pro-business groups and Republicans in Congress call Democratic overreach.
Sep 8, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
A witness to the crash told WTTW News the man was a cyclist riding on an e-bike. The Chicago Fire Department confirmed a man in 40s was struck near Milwaukee Avenue and Morgan Street in River West and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition, though the department described him as a motorcyclist.
Sep 7, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The groups say they don’t just want things like protected bike lanes, signal priority for buses, and other improvements to be limited to this stretch of street, calling on the Chicago Department of Transportation to “perform critical safety and quality-of-life upgrades” in the course of every major street resurfacing citywide.
Aug 30, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Workers at a unionized Starbucks coffee shop in Edgewater walked off the job Tuesday, protesting what they say is a pattern of the company illegally disciplining employees as retaliation for organizing. Similar charges have been echoed by pro-union Starbucks workers around the U.S.
Aug 19, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
The results of the election were released by organizers after a National Labor Relations Board vote count Friday morning. The Devon and Broadway Starbucks joins two others in Edgewater, and one each in Bucktown, Hyde Park, North Park and northwest suburban Cary.
Aug 15, 2022 | Nick Blumberg
Late last month, 26 current and former employees of a Joliet Amazon warehouse accused the company of allowing a racially hostile work environment. They’ve since been joined by a dozen more workers, who’ve filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.