Chicago makes deal with painters union to help put injured painters back to work

December 8, 2012

The Associated Press

Flickr/Rachael Voorhees
File: Fire hydrant

The city of Chicago has inked an agreement with the local painters union to allow injured employees to return to work more quickly, painting fire hydrants and curbs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Friday the Transitional Return to Work agreement with the local Painters District Council No. 14 will save money while providing better services to city residents.

Currently, the city's water management department contracts with outside vendors to paint the curbs and hydrants.

Meanwhile, injured painters who cannot perform their original assignments are recovering at home.

The new agreement will establish a work crew of up to two of those injured painters, provided they are able to do the work.

Emanuel said the Transitional Return to Work program could be a model for other unions.

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