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Juno Lighting Group workers in dispute for fair wages in U.S.

4 September, 2014Des Plaines, Illinois Juno Lighting Group workers on 3 September announced a strike against their company. The workers are demanding that the company gives them a fair wage increase and respect at work.

Juno Lighting Group’s workers are represented by the Local 2565, Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, SEIU, an IndustriALL affiliate, and are bargaining a new collective agreement covering wages and conditions of employment for the hourly employees at Des Plaines, Illinois.  The decision to go on strike has been taken following several months of negotiations before and after the expiry of their current agreement at the end of August.

Juno Lighting Group is a private company purchased by the French multi-national Schneider Electric back in 2005.

Over the last months previous to the expiry of the contract Juno Lighting Group has insisted upon proposals the union believes to be unreasonable, because if accepted workers would be taken away their ability to have a living wage and dignity. Despite the fact that Local 2565 has already agreed to many of the demands put forward by the company, Juno Lighting Group demands for more concessions. The union says the Group has thrived since 1976 and can’t understand why the company needs to deny its workers of just wages.

The union says this is not a fight about worker “greed.” It is about worker justice. Unfortunately, Juno Lighting Group has forced the workers to engage in a labour strike based on Juno Lighting Group’s desire to undermine the union members’ living standards.

To support the striking workers IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina sent letter to the CEO of Schneider Electric France SA. In his letter Jyrki Raina said, “Workers United at Local 2565 are on strike as of yesterday due to the unwillingness of Juno Lighting to accept the reasonable and fair demands of workers for a wage increase. Instead, the company is offering a reduced wage increase to an already underpaid workforce. Workers are rightfully demanding a living wage that would help offset the rising cost of living, including individual healthcare coverage, housing, food, and education.”

In his letter Raina further added, “it is imperative that Schneider Electric guarantee decent working conditions and fair remuneration to the workers at its US subsidiary Juno Lighting, in full compliance with national labour law and international core labour standards.”

IndustriALL also conveyed a message of solidarity to the striking workers.

Juno Lighting Group has been established in 1976, and is engaged in the design, assembly and manufacture of a range of recessed and track architectural grade lighting products. Juno Lighting Group is one of the principal players in the US$12 Billion Lighting Industry.