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Governor announces deal with Iron Workers Local 1 on asylum seeker shelter site

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that the state has come to an agreement with Iron Workers Local 1 to ensure skilled iron workers will be present at the build site for new shelter space for asylum seekers.

Upon learning of a potential labor issue late Thursday night (Nov. 30, 2023), the state worked closely with the Iron Workers Local to negotiate sending additional union labor to the site as quickly as possible. The 38th and California site is being constructed to house approximately 2,000 recent arrivals to the city ahead of worsening winter weather conditions.

“When my administration was made aware of an issue that could have resulted in a work stoppage and increased costs at a new asylum seeker shelter site, we acted immediately to ensure union iron workers were represented and that the project could continue without delay,” said Gov. Pritzker. “I am grateful to the Iron Workers for their collaborative work with my office to reach agreement and I am pleased this project can proceed.”

“Upon learning of concerns regarding labor use at the 38th and California site, Governor Pritzker and state officials immediately began negotiations to ensure the project could continue efficiently while maintaining the commitment to organized labor that the Governor has demonstrated since day one of his administration,” said John Gardiner, president, Iron Workers Union Local 1. “Skilled union ironworkers will be on site tomorrow to aid in the safe construction of this base camp and provide shelter for those desperately in need.”

“I commend John Gardiner for his leadership and tireless advocacy for Ironworkers Local 1, and I’d like to thank Governor Pritzker for responding quickly to our members to reach this important agreement,” said Michael Macellaio, president of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council.

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