Browse Category

Chicago News

Local union leaders send Fiat Chrysler contract to members

Local union leaders send Fiat Chrysler contract to members

DETROIT — Union leaders from Fiat Chrysler factories are sending a new four-year contract to a membership vote.

The 47,000 members of the United Auto Workers union at the company will vote on the deal starting Friday.


Local leaders assembled on Wednesday in Detroit to go over the pact, which includes a $9,000 bonus per worker upon ratification. The company also has promised $4.5 billion worth of new investments in U.S. factories.

The union reached agreement with Fiat Chrysler last weekend. The new contract also offers a mix of lump sums and pay raises for longtime workers, full top wages for new hires within four years and a path for temporary employees to become full-time after three years of work.

The Fiat Chrysler contract also adds 12.5% to the union workers’ profit-sharing formula, giving them $900 per 1% of profit margin generated North American. That’s up from $800, and a $12,000 cap was lifted. The UAW says the deal created more than 7,900 jobs, including a $4.5 billion investment previously announced at two factories in Detroit.

Fiat Chrysler is the last of the Detroit automakers to settle with the union. Workers at General Motors ratified their contract Oct. 31, ending a 40-day strike that paralyzed GM’s U.S. factories. Ford workers followed by approving a contract in November.


In a summary of the contract, the union said FCA agreed to extend a moratorium on outsourcing of jobs and will maintain its U.S. manufacturing presence through the life of the contract.

The $9 billion of factory investment includes $4.5 billion previously announced at two factories in Detroit, including a new assembly plant.

Also included is an agreement to build fresh models off the Jeep Cherokee SUV underpinnings and invest $55 million into the Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant, where the Cherokee is built.

At the Toledo, Ohio, North Assembly plant, which builds the Jeep Wrangler SUV, the company will invest $160 million and hire 100 more people to build a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler. The Toledo South plant gets $120 million to keep building the Jeep Gladiator pickup.

At an assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Fiat Chrysler will invest $210 million to keep building light-duty Ram pickup and new high-performance version of the truck.


Another truck plant in Warren, Michigan, will get $2.8 billion including engineering and development expenses to keep building the Ram pickup and a new three-row SUV called the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. A plug-in hybrid version of the SUV is coming in 2021.

Mike Booth, president of a UAW local in Marysville, Michigan, north of Detroit, said he made a plea to the leaders at the meeting to reject the deal. Although there was some dissent, the contract was approved on a voice vote, he said.

Under the contract, Booth’s factory, which makes truck axles, would be transferred by Fiat Chrysler to auto parts supply company ZF-TRW. The plant’s 800 workers are Fiat Chrysler employees and will have to transfer to jobs in Detroit.

Booth alleges that corrupt union officials who were bribed by the company agreed to the change. The union local has sued the international UAW and Fiat Chrysler in an effort to block the transfer.

The International UAW has been rocked by a bribery and embezzlement scandal that began at the jointly run Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center. Two former vice presidents who negotiated with FCA are alleged by federal officials to have taken bribes to influence contract negotiations.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 22:42:00 +0000

Chicago cop who had officers babysit his son is demoted

Chicago cop who had officers babysit his son is demoted

CHICAGO — Chicago’s interim police superintendent has demoted a commander whom the city’s inspector general accused of directing on-duty officers under him to babysit his son with special needs.

Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck’s demotion of Commander Anthony Escamilla to captain on Tuesday is one of the first moves by Beck after Mayor Lori Lightfoot made her stunning announcement Monday that she was firing Superintendent Eddie Johnson because she said he lied to her about his behavior the night in October when he was found asleep in his running vehicle.


The Chicago Tribune reports that the demotion comes nearly a year after Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office recommended the possible firing of Escamilla. At the time, Johnson chose instead to suspend Escamilla for seven days.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 02:33:00 +0000

49ers Suspend Broadcaster After ‘Dark Skin Color’ Comments

49ers Suspend Broadcaster After ‘Dark Skin Color’ Comments

The San Francisco 49ers have suspended broadcaster Tim Ryan for one game after his comments about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson earlier this week.

During his weekly radio show “Murph and Mac” on Monday, Ryan talked about how Jackson’s “skin color” made him more effective against the 49ers defense.

“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing. I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point,” he said.

Ryan has since issued a statement stating:

National Transportation Safety Board via AP

“I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”

The 49ers released the following statement Wednesday:

“We are disappointed in Tim Ryan’s comments earlier this week, and have suspended him for the upcoming game. We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience. We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly.”

Rev. Jethroe Moore II, the President of NAACP Silicon Valley/San Jose, says he’d like to meet with Ryan before he returns from the suspension.

“Part of his coming back should be coming to meet with members of the African-American community for better understanding of how those words can be hurtful,” Moore said. “That includes the 49er players and actually letting them talk about how they feel about the comments.”

Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 06:57:00 +0000

Report: White Sox Looking to Add Multiple Veteran Pitchers

Report: White Sox Looking to Add Multiple Veteran Pitchers

The Chicago White Sox have already been active in free agency, but according to a report, the team could have even loftier ambitions heading into the 2020 season.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the White Sox are looking to add not one, but two veteran starting pitchers in free agency, aiming to bolster their rotation in a big way.

“The (Yasmani) Grandal signing was the first sign that 2020 is an all-in year for the White Sox, and this is another,” Olney said.

If the White Sox decide to pull out the proverbial checkbook, there are plenty of options on the free agent market. The two big names this offseason are Gerrit Cole, who had a fantastic season with the Houston Astros, and Stephen Strasburg, who opted out of his deal with the Washington Nationals after the club won the World Series.

Even if the White Sox choose not to pursue one of those free agents, there are plenty of other options available. Zack Wheeler is reportedly generating plenty of interest, including from the White Sox, and other pitchers could intrigue the team as well, including Wade Miley, Cole Hamels, and Julio Teheran.

San Francisco Giants star Madison Bumgarner is also available on the open market.

So far this offseason, the White Sox have signed free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year contract, and the team also re-signed Jose Abreu to a three-year pact.

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 23:35:58 +0000

Report: Cubs ‘Still Pursuing’ Nicholas Castellanos

Report: Cubs ‘Still Pursuing’ Nicholas Castellanos

The Chicago Cubs have a lot of decisions to make after missing the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, but could a reunion with a fan favorite be in the cards?

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Cubs are “still pursuing” a new contract with free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, and although there are other teams that have reported interest in the outfielder, there appears to still be a chance he could end up back on the North Side.

Castellanos was acquired by the Cubs just before the 2019 trade deadline and his production took off, as he hit .321 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI’s in 51 games with the North Siders.

Even if the Cubs want to spend the money to retain Castellanos, there are several issues that could complicate matters. The first is the defensive alignment of their outfield, as the team would likely prefer to keep Jason Heyward in right field rather than having him play in center, as he would likely do if Castellanos was brought back into the fold.

That could change if the Cubs end up deciding to deal Kyle Schwarber, but it’s unclear at this point whether the team will look to move the outfielder after his strong second half power surge.

The other issue that could make things tough on the Cubs is the potential for a bidding war for Castellanos’ services. Several teams have emerged as potential suitors for the outfielder, including the San Francisco Giants, according to Morosi.

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 22:18:30 +0000

Man dressed as Chicago officer robs currency exchange store

Man dressed as Chicago officer robs currency exchange store

CHICAGO — Authorities say a man dressed as a Chicago police officer robbed a currency exchange after barging into the store and telling an employee he was armed.

Chicago police say the man entered the store Monday night in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood wearing a Chicago Police Department uniform, including a baseball cap, long-sleeve button-up shirt and reflective vest. He was also wearing a surgical mask.


Police say the man approached a 22-year-old woman who worked at the store, implied that he had a gun and announced that it was a robbery.

The woman gave the robber an unknown amount of cash inside a bag, and the man fled.

Police were searching for the robbery suspect.

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:29:00 +0000

Cubs Non-Tender Addison Russell, Making Him a Free Agent

Cubs Non-Tender Addison Russell, Making Him a Free Agent

Shortstop Addison Russell has been non-tendered by the Chicago Cubs, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The announcement was made Monday just before the MLB deadline for contract decisions for arbitration-eligible players. Russell would have been due to make a contract worth nearly $5 million, according to projections, but will likely not be back with the team after a tumultuous final two seasons with the club.

President of the Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein issued a statement Monday evening saying:

“We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process.

Addison Russell Discusses Suspension, Return to Cubs

[CHI] Addison Russell Discusses Suspension, Return to Cubs

In the year since we decided to tender Addison a contract last November, he has lived up to his promise to put in the important self-improvement work necessary off the field and has shown growth as a person, as a partner, as a parent and as a citizen. We hope and believe that Addison’s work and growth will continue, and we have offered our continued support of him and his family, including Melisa.

In the last year, the organization has also put in the important work necessary to bolster our domestic violence prevention training for all employees, all major league players, all minor league players and all staff. We also offered healthy relationship workshops for the players’ partners and provided intensive, expert domestic violence prevention training for player-facing staff. This heightened training and our increased community involvement on the urgent issue of domestic violence prevention will continue indefinitely.

We wish Addison and his family well.”

Addison Russell Responds to Abuse Allegations

[CHI] Addison Russell Responds to Abuse Allegations

Russell was suspended for the first 40 games of the 2019 season amid allegations of domestic violence made by his ex-wife.

After he was activated, Russell struggled at the plate and in the field for the Cubs, and was sent down to Triple-A Iowa in late July. He was brought back to the team in mid-August, hitting nine home runs and driving in 23 RBI’s in 241 plate appearances.

A total of six-arbitration eligible players were tendered 2020 contracts, including outfielders Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber, catcher Willson Contreras, and infielders Kris Bryant and Javier Báez.

The Cubs also non-tendered pitcher Danny Hultzen, making him a free agent.

Finally, the team agreed to terms with pitcher Jharel Cotton on a contract for the 2020 season, avoiding arbitration.

The Cubs’ 40-man roster now stands at 36 players after the moves.

Published at Tue, 03 Dec 2019 00:10:57 +0000

Parking tax would support building, hit private land

Parking tax would support building, hit private land

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A tax on parking places to help finance Illinois’ $45 billion statewide construction plan has lawmakers taking a second look.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the tax takes effect Jan. 1. It’s 9% on spaces that are rented by the month or year. It’s 6% for spaces rented hourly, daily or weekly.


It will raise $60 million annually, and is part of more than $800 million in new taxes and fees that will finance state construction.

But proposed rules would make the tax so broad that even those who rent private property for parking – as dozens in Springfield do annually in August during the Illinois State Fair – would pay the tax.

Springfield Republican Rep. Tim Butler suggested reviewing the tax because of difficulty in enforcing it.

Published at Mon, 02 Dec 2019 12:26:00 +0000

Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Olivia Jade Returns to YouTube Amid College Admissions Scandal

Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Olivia Jade Returns to YouTube Amid College Admissions Scandal

As actress Lori Loughlin denies the charges she is facing in the college admissions scandal, her daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli has returned to YouTube, uploading her first video on Sunday since she was engulfed in the controversy earlier this year, NBC News reports.

Giannulli, 20, the daughter of Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, was a successful YouTube star with a slew of brand partnerships and more than one million subscribers before details of “Operation Varsity Blues” were made public in March.

Giannulli was a student at the University of Southern California, and prosecutors say her parents paid $500,000 to fraudulently get Olivia and her sister, Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, admitted to the school. Her parents have both pleaded not guilty to to the charges.

When the scandal broke, Giannulli took a long social media hiatus and at one point deleted her Instagram account. In the video uploaded Sunday and titled “hi again,” Giannulli — who was no longer enrolled at USC as of October — said she is excited to return to vlogging. “Obviously I’ve been gone for a very long time,” she said, adding she was debating for many months when to return and was “terrified” to upload a new video.

Published at Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:53:16 +0000