Chi Town Daily News–Hundreds of protesters marked the sixth anniversary of a strike over labor conditions at The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center on Monday, stretching a picket line down a block-long stretch of South Michigan Avenue. On June 15, 2003, almost six months after their contracts expired, workers at the Congress Hotel went on strike. Union organizers say hotel management cut wages, stopped paying employee health-care premiums and demanded the right to subcontract its unionized workforce.
The rally was both a celebration of the strike’s persistence and a lament of stalled negotiations with hotel owners and representatives. Among the strikers’ supporters were Gov. Pat Quinn, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and aldermen Bob Fioretti and Ricardo Munoz. Each was present and spoke at the protest.
"This hotel has not treated its workers right" Quinn yelled from a podium between Michigan Avenue traffic and the hotel’s lower east floors. "We will have justice."