Workers at Juno Lighting Group in Des Plaines remained on the picket lines for a second day Thursday in their protest for higher wages.
Officials with the Chicago & Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, SEIU, the union that represents production and maintenance employees at the Des Plaines factory, say more than 360 employees from the 400-person workforce walked off the job Wednesday after rejecting terms of a tentative contract agreement.
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In a news release, union officials on Thursday said Juno's offer of wage increases was "meager" because the company is also proposing an increase in individual employee contributions to health insurance.
"Our cause here is for higher wages," said Malaquias Gutierrez, one of the workers on the picket lines Thursday. "We want some respect, some dignity. They're giving us a raise that is not enough for the cost of living. It's a misery what they're trying to offer us as a raise."
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is expected to show her support for the striking workers during a news conference at 3:15 p.m. outside the company headquarters at 1300 S. Wolf Road.
Juno officials have said they believe the proposed three-year contract was fair and negotiated in good faith. The agreement calls for general wage increases, life insurance and short-term disability benefits, and no increases to health insurance deductibles or out of pocket expenses -- but some increases to premiums.
Daily Herald photographer Bob Chwedyk contributed to this report.