Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, apparently is NOT for Laborers!

The City of Chicago and the Mayor are continually preaching about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce, but apparently that does not pertain to their own employees. The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is currently fighting our Union, LiUNA Local 1001, over the hire of an Airport Maintenance Foreman. Currently there are three vacancies for that position.

CDA has been paying outrageous amounts of overtime to the current Airport Maintenance Foremen in order to not hire from their own pre-qualified candidate list. We have always agreed to extend these hire lists but they refuse to this time because they do not want the person who is next on the list to be promoted, even though that person has worked nearly 16 years as a Laborer in CDA. Currently there are approximately a combined 85 Laborers/General Laborers in CDA. Of those there are approximately 31 females of which 25 are women of color. Yet, there are no female Airport Maintenance Foreman, zero.

The employee being denied the promotion is a woman of color.

The Department has been coming up with every excuse imaginable to deny this employee the promotion. We, the Union, have responded and cited examples of promotions that dispute and discredit their excuses, but they continue to deny the employee who is on their own pre-qualified candidate list. They even violated their own policy and past practice of offering the promotion to the employee while she was off with an injury, by the way another one of their lame excuses, which we pointed out to them that they just did for a male employee back in May of this year. The employee is currently back at work and the Commissioner’s office along with the Mayor’s office are aware of this.

If you happen to be in the terminals at O’Hare airport you will have the pleasure of viewing the looping video with a parade of vendors who the Mayor taunts as promoting equity for people of color, yet she and her staff obviously don’t want the same at the employee level, especially when it comes to Laborers.

The buck has been passed around long enough from responses like, that’s above my pay grade, to, we will look into it and get back to you, which by the way never happens. If the Mayor is truly for diversity, equity and inclusion then maybe she or CDA Commissioner Rhee can explain why this hiring fiasco has been going on for months and is costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in overtime in order to prevent this woman of color from getting the position she qualified for under their criteria and is rightfully entitled to?