Monday, October 1, 2012

Rally and Protest for Striking Warehouse Workers in Elwood, Illinois

Elwood, Illinois

During a march and rally in support of warehouse workers who are on strike for unfair labor practices, several members of the clergy were arrested for blocking the road.   The clergy sat and formed a line in front of WalMart's giant warehouse.  The Elwood police gave several warnings that people needed to be out of the street.  The people sitting in the road were arrested by officers from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System after those officers also gave a warning.  According to its website, the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, "was formed in 2002  in response to the September 11th attacks as a joint venture of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.  We were created to meet the needs of local law enforcement throughout the State of Illinois in matters of mutual aid, emergency response and the combining of resources for public safety and terrorism prevention and response. We are a consortium of over 900 local governments established pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Illinois (Ill. Const. Art. VII, sec. 10), the Illinois Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (5 ILCS 220/1 et seq.), the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/7-101 et seq.) and the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-1-2.1)."

Father Raymond Lescher of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Joliet arrested for sitting in the street at a march and rally in support of striking warehouse workers in Elwood, Illinois
A group of hundreds of striking warehouse workers, union members, and others marched to the entrance of the WalMart warehouse from a nearby park.
Rally for striking warehouse workers in Elwood, Illinois

About 30 workers working at the WalMart warehouse and employed by the staffing company Roadlink are on strike.  The workers presented their supervisors with a petition calling for an end to wage theft, discrimination, and dangerous working conditions.  Workers say they were told they were "no longer welcome" in the warehouse.  The workers say that was illegal retaliation and that the workers are now on strike for unfair labor practices.  Warehouse Workers for Justice has been calling for better working conditions in area warehouses for over three years.  A representative from Warehouse Workers for Justice said the WalMart warehouse was closed down for business today at 10 a.m. and workers were sent home.
Reverand Craig Purchase of Joliet arrested at the rally outside the WalMart warehouse in Elwood, Illinoi

Members of the clergy sit in the street in protest over working conditions in the WalMart warehouse in Elwood, Illinois
Member of the clergy arrested at a rally outside the WalMart Warehouse in Elwood, Illinois