Chicago Sun-Times

Some of strik­ing work­ers com­plain they’re paid less than min­i­mum wage

- BY MITCH DUDEK, STAFF RE­PORTER mdudek@sun­ | @mitch­dudek Business · Society · Incidents · Social Issues · University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign · Illinois · Service Employees International Union · Labor Rights · University of Illinois at Chicago

Strik­ing work­ers at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois Hos­pi­tal filed com­plaints Thurs­day with the city claim­ing 156 work­ers are be­ing paid be­low min­i­mum wage.

Twenty com­plaints filed with the Of­fice of La­bor Stan­dards al­lege min­i­mum wage or­di­nance vi­o­la­tions at the hos­pi­tal, a city spokesman con­firmed.

The work­ers cov­ered in the com­plaints are paid less than $14 an hour — the city’s re­quired min­i­mum wage for com­pa­nies with 21 or more em­ploy­ees, ac­cord­ing to Adrian Ro­jas, a spokesman for Ser­vice Em­ploy­ees In­ter­na­tional Union Lo­cal 73, which rep­re­sents the work­ers.

A spokes­woman for their em­ployer, the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago, didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn a mes­sage seek­ing com­ment.

The work­ers men­tioned in the com­plaints are among 3,700 hos­pi­tal work­ers — all SEIU mem­bers — who went on strike Mon­day to gain bet­ter pay and COVID-19 pro­tec­tions.

They in­clude park­ing at­ten­dants, cashiers, cus­to­di­ans, lab an­i­mal care­tak­ers, emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cians and phys­i­cal ther­a­pists.

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