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Second City workers will vote on whether to unionize

The Second City. | Sun-Times file photo

More than 120 staff members from the Second City Theater will vote next week on whether to form a union with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

Some of the workers trying to organize and affiliate with the union — workers who include wait staff, hosts, and kitchen and bar staff — spoke at a press conference Friday outside the legendary theater, calling for cooperation from the theater’s management as they vote on the unionization. Ald. Carlos Rosa (35th) and State Rep. Will Guzzardi attended to show support.

According to Catharine Schutzius, an organizer for the union, workers approached the union “because they decided they needed a union contract and a collective voice on the job.”

Schutzius said workers expressed concerns with minimum wage pay and scheduling issues. Schutzius said the union asked theater management to voluntarily recognize the union rather than going to an election, but management declined the offer.

United Electrical is an independent union established in 1936 that represents more than 35,000 workers. Second City workers will vote at the theater complex, 1616 N. Wells St., on Nov. 17 and 18.