RAVENSWOOD — About two dozen angry union members gave Mayor Rahm Emanuel a taste of their own sort of holiday cheer Thursday evening, protesting City Hall’s move to eliminate about 320 jobs at O’Hare by awarding a custodial contract to a new company.
Members of SEIU Local 1 descended upon the mayor’s Ravenswood Manor house Thursday night and sang their own versions of “Deck the Halls,” "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and more in protest, while holding lit-up signs that spelled out “Rahm=Job Killer.”
The lyrics of the "carolers" included "Rahm is a two-faced mayor / Claims to care about our jobs / But now we see his true face / He sold us out to the mob!" and "Rahm's making a list and checking it twice / Tryin' to get unions out of our lives / Union Buster's coming to town!"
The five-year, $99 million contract with United Maintenance has drawn condemnation from the union and a handful of aldermen. Two United Maintenance executives have been linked to organized crime, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Paul Fosco, an executive with United Maintenance’s parent company, went to prison on racketeering charges in the 1980s, and the company's owner, Richard Simon, allegedly had business dealings with reputed mobster William Daddano Jr. as recently as last year, the Sun-Times reported.
The company has urged SEIU members to apply for jobs, and said it will offer better wages and benefits than they currently receive.
The carolers made it clear that they would not be dropping their issue with the new contract any time soon:
"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way / If you don't give us back our good jobs, we'll never go away!"