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President Trump tours hurricane-ravaged parts of Florida. Also on the Tuesday rundown: We examine whether the U.S. spending too much to guard confederate cemeteries; and the spotlight is on mental health during National Children’s Health Month.

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Chicago Fast Food Workers Fight for Unions, Fair Wages

A survey found that if given the opportunity, nearly half of non-unionized workers would join a union. (Fibonnaci Blue/Flickr)
A survey found that if given the opportunity, nearly half of non-unionized workers would join a union. (Fibonnaci Blue/Flickr)
October 4, 2018

CHICAGO – Employees of McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and other fast food chains in Chicago will be walking the picket lines Thursday in a continued push for better pay and unions.

They'll be joined by service workers at airports, child care centers, colleges and hospitals in the Fight for 15 movement.

Adriana Alvarez has worked at the same Chicago McDonald's for eight years, and says union representation and earning $15 an hour would be life changing for her and her son.

"I wouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck,” she states. “If my son needs something, I can get it when he needs it. And right now I don't have sick days.

“If he gets sick, I have to miss out on those wages and I'm already barely making it if I lose a day. It's very hurtful."

While just 1-in-10 workers in the U.S. belong to a union, a recent MIT survey found that if given the opportunity, nearly half of non-unionized workers would join a union.

Strikes also are expected Thursday in several other states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

With one month to go before Election Day, Alvarez says workers in Illinois will also begin a massive canvass throughout the state to talk to residents about the need for candidates who support workers' rights.

"These politicians have yet to be for the people who are actually putting them in office,” she asserts. “They are so anti-worker, they are so anti-people. They need to realize that we have the power and people have to realize that they have the power and that power comes in voting."

Arguing it would hurt business and jobs, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill last year that would have made Illinois the third state to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL