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CFL fund provides cash to union members who have lost income due to COVID-19

The Chicago Federation of Labor effort is seeking donors to help with awards of $500 each.

Robert Reiter Jr., president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.
Robert Reiter Jr., president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, speaks at a 2018 rally. With him is Don Villar, the CFL’s secretary-treasurer.
Sun-Times file photo

The Chicago Federation of Labor said Tuesday it has started a relief fund to provide payments of $500 to union workers who have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The initial funding will be distributed to 500 families with plans to expand that as additional donations come in, the CFL said. It said those interested in applying should notify their unions.

It’s called the Chicago Labor Relief Fund, and donations are being solicited at

Seed money for the effort came from the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund and the investment firm GCM Grosvenor, headed by Michael Sacks. The CFL and Sacks are investors in Sun-Times Media. The Sun-Times is a media sponsor of the response fund.

“In times of crisis, the labor movement demonstrates why we are the backbone of this city, and the CFL is proud to give back to the working women and men of this city through the Chicago Labor Relief Fund,” said Robert Reiter Jr., president of the CFL, which represents about 300 unions and labor groups.

The program is offered with a nonprofit affiliate of the CFL called the CFL Workforce and Community Initiative.