Chicago unions throw support between city council resolution calling for Israel-Hamas cease-fire

Craig Wall Image
Monday, January 29, 2024
Some unions support city council resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire
Some local unions are supporting a Chicago City Council resolution calling for an end to hostilities betwen Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the war in Gaza continues and negotiations drag on over a proposed two month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, some local unions are supporting a Chicago City Council resolution calling for an end to hostilities.

"We urge the Chicago City Council to stand on the side of justice by passing the resolution calling for a cease-fire," said Marcos Ceniceros, executive director of Warehouse Workers for Justice.

The resolution has been hotly debated at two previous council meetings. Alderwoman Rosanna Rodriguez-Sanchez has amended her resolution so it calls for the release of all hostages and for allowing humanitarian aid, but it still faces an uphill battle for enough votes Wednesday.

"We have been doing a lot of work trying to advocate not only our colleagues but all of the public in how important it is to pass a cease-fire right now," the 33rd Ward alderwoman said.

RELATED: Ald. asks city council to delay Israel-Hamas ceasefire resolution to after Holocaust Remembrance Day

"This is the biggest expression for peace by the labor movement in a full generation," said Carl Rosen, general president of United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America.

In a show of solidarity at the United Electrical Workers Union Hall on Ashland Avenue, supporters of a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war gathered to speak out.

After Hamas sparked the war with its October 7 attack on Israel, the conflict has divided the council. Jewish organizations have been campaigning hard behind the scenes to get alderpersons to vote no on the resolution.

"And so for aldermen to push forward with rhetoric, with vitriol that is so harmful that creates a dangerous environment for Jews, shame on them," said David Goldenberg, Midwest regional director for the Anti-Defamation League.

Supporters of the resolution hope the message also reaches the White House.

"We need the United States along with other nations to be leaders that bring everyone to the table. We need peace and we need it now," said Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

"There's a lot going on here that is not recognized by the City Council's resolution and for that, I'm sad, but the reality is, I don't think it'll have any real impact," said Governor JB Pritzker.

The Chicago Teachers Union is among those supporting the resolution.

Planned walkouts from nearly a dozen Chicago Public Schools are possible Tuesday in support of the cease-fire.

Alderwoman Rodriguez said she is still counting votes, but regardless she will bring the issue up for a vote on Wednesday.