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Walter’s Perspective: Mayor Risks Becoming Scrooge In O’Hare Labor Controversy

Walter Jacobson

Walter Jacobson (CBS)

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(CBS) — Did you hear those Christmas carols at Mayor Emanuel’s home, sung about the janitors at O’Hare?

The floor-washers, window-wipers, the toilet-scrubbers at O’Hare, caroling for their salaries, walking in the dark and cold, pleading with Mr. Mayor to save their jobs.

Please, they sing, don’t pink-slip us, not now, sir, not before Christmas.

Do you hear them, Mr. Mayor?

Are you listening to the pleas of 300 janitors being fired before Christmas, so that you can hire new janitors for less pay, so that you can save $11 million in your $8 billion budget?

Minority janitors, immigrant janitors who have followed their dreams to the middle class in Chicago, working jobs that most people don’t want, for $12 or $13 an hour — being knocked down to the bottom class.

To save a few million out of $8 billion?

That’s not being Mr. Mayor at Christmas. It’s being Mr. Scrooge.