Unequal Pay for Hudson News Workers Leads Aldermen to Call for Hearings

By Ted Cox on December 12, 2013 1:11pm 

 Ovidio Jimenez, a Hudson News worker at Midway Airport, is consoled by O'Hare worker Margaret Shields at a City Hall news conference, as Aldermen Jason Ervin (l.) and Howard Brookins Jr. (r.) look on.
Ovidio Jimenez, a Hudson News worker at Midway Airport, is consoled by O'Hare worker Margaret Shields at a City Hall news conference, as Aldermen Jason Ervin (l.) and Howard Brookins Jr. (r.) look on.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Aldermen are calling for City Council hearings over unequal pay for Hudson News workers at O'Hare and Midway airports.

Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st) submitted a resolution at Wednesday's City Council meeting calling for hearings on the issue in the Aviation Committee.

According to the resolution, unionized O'Hare employees of the national newsstand company make an average of $10.05 an hour, while non-union Midway workers earn an average of $8.92 an hour.

"These things need to be addressed at both Midway and O'Hare," said Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) in support of the resolution.

"The injustice of such varied treatment of similarly situated employees is obvious, and must be dealt with," the resolution reads.

"I take my job seriously, and I work hard on it," said Ovidio Jimenez, a Hudson News employee at Midway, at a City Hall news conference. "We do the same job as workers on the North Side. We're not being treated with respect."

Jimenez said that, after six years, he was earning $9.57 an hour at Midway, while O'Hare workers get a raise to $9.85 an hour after a year on the job.

Margaret Shields, an O'Hare worker, confirmed that Hudson News employees at the Northwest Side airport have a pension, sick days and other benefits not extended to Midway workers.

"I really do believe they deserve the same benefits and job security on the South Side as on the North Side," Shields said.

Jimenez broke down in tears at one point while talking of his two daughters he hoped to send to college. Shields consoled him before he was able to continue.

Ervin has previously submitted an ordinance calling for a living wage for all airport employees, but it has been mired in the Committee on Workforce Development, in spite of being signed by 31 aldermen.

The Hudson Group, the corporate owner behind Hudson News, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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