Embroidery Workers Unionize, Citing Unfair Labor Practices
HUMBOLDT PARK — Workers at a Humboldt Park embroidery company have voted to unionize, claiming lack of holiday pay and other wage issues.
Labor activists and union representatives gathered in front of Artistic Stitches, 2639 W. Grand Ave., Thursday afternoon to declare a victory for the approximately 60 workers who voted last Friday to form a union, joining the Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The predominantly Latino workers at Artistic Stitches told union representatives they were forced to work Thanksgiving without holiday pay, leading to a walkout the day after Thanksgiving.
According to the National Labor Relations Board, a petition for a union election was filed Dec. 14.
Labor organizer Jorge Mujica, of Arise Chicago, said workers were also laid off each year from mid-December to late January, sometimes being re-hired at lower wages and even sub-minimum-wage rates.
Company president Ed Mancini could not immediately be reached for comment. Co-owner Connie Mirallegro, who is reportedly Mancini's mother, would not comment on the allegations.
According to a 2008 article in an embroidery trade magazine, the company bought in more than $1 million in revenue in 2006.
Its website says the 52,000-square-foot facility operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.