WBEZ | SEIU http://www.wbez.org/tags/seiu Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Unionized janitors lose battle over O’Hare jobs http://www.wbez.org/news/unionized-janitors-lose-battle-over-o%E2%80%99hare-jobs-104392 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3409_1387167671_43c9f53d5f.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of unionized janitors turned in their badges Friday at O&rsquo;Hare International Airport after losing their jobs in a contentious contract deal.</p><p>The task of cleaning and washing the windows at O&rsquo;Hare will now be taken over by 400 non-unionized workers.</p><p>Labor leaders and union members held protests Monday through Thursday. They targeted Mayor Rahm Emanuel for union-busting.</p><p>&ldquo;These were already organized union members,&rdquo; said Laura Garza, Secretary-Treasurer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1. &ldquo;So the question for the city is, why did they eliminate those good jobs, those middle-class jobs in the city? There was no need for the city of Chicago, for our mayor to do this to these workers.&rdquo;</p><p>United Maintenance, the company that won the 5-year contract with the City of Chicago said it&rsquo;s not up to them whether employees are unionized .</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s totally within the purview of the employee whether or not they want to unionize,&rdquo; said Anthony D&rsquo;Angelo, Vice President of Security with United Service Companies which oversees United Maintenance. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not management&rsquo;s decision.&rdquo;</p><p>The face-off between the union and United Maintenance has gotten more heated in the days leading up to the janitors&rsquo; final day on the job, with both sides telling very different versions of the story.</p><p>In press releases this week, SEIU said workers will be paid less for the same work; United Maintenance said it&rsquo;s paying some new hires more than they were making previously at O&rsquo;Hare as employees of Scrubs, Inc. SEIU said workers will have to pay for family health benefits when they didn&rsquo;t before; United Maintenance said its health package will be more comprehensive than the one offered by Scrubs, Inc.</p><p>Officials at the new contractor said they&rsquo;ve hired back 110 workers who were previously with the union. SEIU put that number at 50 out of 400 laid-off workers.</p><p>The starting wage for janitors with United Maintenance is $11.90 - 15 cents less than the starting wage with Scrubs, Inc.</p><p>Garza said SEIU will try to organize the new O&rsquo;Hare workers. She said those who lost their jobs did not want to speak to media Friday after an &ldquo;emotional week&rdquo;, but they are applying for unemployment and looking for work.</p></p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/unionized-janitors-lose-battle-over-o%E2%80%99hare-jobs-104392 O'Hare union workers call for re-bid on contract http://www.wbez.org/news/ohare-union-workers-call-re-bid-contract-104341 <p><p>Union workers and a group of Chicago aldermen want the city to rebid a controversial contract at O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>The city signed a $99 million contract with a new janitorial company called United Maintenance. The new contract starts Friday.</p><p>But janitors who are members of Service Employees International Union said the deal is costing them jobs.</p><p>Mildred Rueda has been a custodian at the airport for seven years. She&rsquo;s is one of almost 300 workers that will be out of a job.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re taking my job away from me and giving it to somebody else&rdquo; Rueda said. &ldquo;And I think it&rsquo;s unfair.&rdquo;</p><p>Four alderman: Scott Waugespack (32nd Ward), Rod Sawyer (6th Ward), Nick Sposato (36th Ward), and Rick Muñoz (22nd Ward) are calling for the city administration to move forward with a responsible bidders ordinance.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing a push in city administration to eliminate good paying jobs and provide workers with lower wages through contracting agencies that do not follow a responsible bidding,&rdquo; Waugespack said.</p><p>Waugespack said this ordinance will require companies like United to provide workers with good salaries and benefits. The ordinance would apply to contracts for janitorial, security and window washing over $50,000 in Chicago.</p><p>Thirty-one alderman have already signed on. United Maintenance said it&rsquo;s offered positions to more than 100 laid off employees. The company also said that O&rsquo;Hare workers are provided full health benefits.</p><p>Other SEIU members also can reapply for their jobs.</p><p>But some Chicago aldermen complain the airport workers could face lower pay.</p><p>&ldquo;These men and women who have been laboring day in and day out are being let go,&rdquo; Muñoz said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re being replaced by employees that will be paid less.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;Muñoz said in being financially responsible, the city is being socially irresponsible and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is &ldquo;looking to nickel and dime the city.&rdquo;</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying he&rsquo;s committed to a competitive and fair bidding process.</p></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 10:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/ohare-union-workers-call-re-bid-contract-104341 Sister union’s vote could affect leverage of teachers http://www.wbez.org/news/sister-union%E2%80%99s-vote-could-affect-leverage-teachers-99962 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Local73.JPG" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 276px; height: 480px; " title="SEIU members march with the Chicago Teachers Union in a 2011 downtown protest to support public education. (Photo courtesy of Local 73)" /></div><p>As the Chicago Teachers Union tallies <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/ctu-president-karen-lewis-talks-strike-authorization-vote-99844">a vote</a> that could lead to a strike, some balloting Saturday by the school district&rsquo;s second-largest union could affect the teachers&rsquo; bargaining strength.</p><p>Service Employees International Union Local 73 is holding a ratification vote on a tentative contract covering 5,500 Chicago Public Schools employees ranging from bus aides and special-education assistants to custodians and child-welfare attendants.</p><p>Local 73 Vice President Taalib-Din Ziyad and other union leaders are urging members to approve the deal because the district has privatized a lot of the work once done by the union&rsquo;s members.</p><p>&ldquo;We were able to save those jobs that were threatened as well as get language that there would be no further contracting out of any of our jobs,&rdquo; Ziyad said.</p><p>Local 73 and CPS said they would not release a copy of the agreement until after the ratification vote. Union leaders say the deal covers three years and sets up 2 percent annual raises.</p><p>The tentative pact follows a CPS contract settlement with Unite Here Local 1 announced last month. That agreement, a five-year deal, covers about 3,200 lunchroom workers and limits the district&rsquo;s switch to &ldquo;warming kitchens&rdquo; in which private venders provide preprepared food.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not clear whether the two settlements leave the CTU&rsquo;s 25,000 members out on a limb or increase their leverage. The teachers are finishing a vote on whether to authorize union leaders to call a strike. That vote, which began Wednesday, comes amid tough contract talks involving everything from pay to the school-day length.</p><p>Orlando Sepúlveda, a Local 73 member campaigning against ratification, calls the tentative agreement &ldquo;a hollow victory&rdquo; and says his union could have done better by waiting for the teachers to get a deal.</p><p>&ldquo;The defense of public education &mdash; meaning not only halting privatization, but also the improvement of all its constituent elements &mdash; will require the unity of all the community that it serves and all the workers involved in it,&rdquo; Sepúlveda wrote in a Web commentary.</p><p>The settlements could affect the CTU&rsquo;s negotiations, according to leaders of that union.</p><p>&ldquo;The members of both Unite Here and SEIU are hourly workers so they&rsquo;re not a good precedent for salaried teachers,&rdquo; CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. &ldquo;But one thing that could set a precedent for us is the job-security language that those unions won.&rdquo;</p><p>The CTU has lost thousands of members in recent years, partly as a result of the district&rsquo;s approval of nonunion charter schools.</p></p> Fri, 08 Jun 2012 19:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sister-union%E2%80%99s-vote-could-affect-leverage-teachers-99962 Chicago Public Schools gets contract with SEIU http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-public-schools-gets-contract-seiu-99770 <p><p>Chicago Public Schools has reached a tentative contract agreement with its second largest union.</p><p>The school system announced early Monday that it&#39;s negotiated a three-year contract with the Service Employees International Union Local 73. That union represents about 5,500 CPS employees, including custodians, special education classroom assistants, school bus aides and security workers.</p><p>Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard says he&#39;s grateful to the union&#39;s negotiators and members for their work during the talks.</p><p>SEIU Local 73 President Christine Boardman says the union will recommend the contract to its membership for a ratification vote. Boardman says the contract contains job security provisions that the union considered a top concern.</p><p>Negotiations continue between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union.</p></p> Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-public-schools-gets-contract-seiu-99770 Protesters: Pacific trade pact will help export jobs http://www.wbez.org/story/protesters-pacific-trade-pact-will-help-export-jobs-91530 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-05/PTP march.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About 500 activists marched Monday afternoon in downtown Chicago to protest U.S. trade negotiations with some Latin American and Asian nations.<br> <br> The march ended at the Hilton Chicago, where delegations from nine countries on Tuesday will begin their eighth round of talks toward what they’re calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership.<br> <br> President Obama’s administration says U.S. aims in the negotiations are jobs and prosperity for the American people. His team says it’s addressing shortfalls of earlier U.S. pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.<br> <br> That’s not convincing critics. “Thousands of workers here in Chicago and all over the Midwest are out of jobs because of trade agreements like NAFTA,” said Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union Illinois Council, at a rally before the march.<br> <br> NAFTA has also “destroyed the livelihoods” of millions of Mexican farmers, Balanoff added. “And what do they tell us in Washington? ‘Let’s keep following those policies.’ ”<br> <br> The protestors say they will deliver 10,000 postcards to negotiators on Tuesday. The cards urge the United States to make sure any deal protects labor rights, the environment and human rights.<br> <br> On Wednesday, AIDS activists are planning to protest proposed treaty provisions that would strengthen pharmaceutical patents. The activists say the patents lock in prices for life-saving medications that poor people can't afford.<br> <br> The Chicago talks are set to run through September 15. Besides the United States, the nations include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.</p></p> Mon, 05 Sep 2011 21:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/protesters-pacific-trade-pact-will-help-export-jobs-91530 Blagojevich prosecutor's laser-like focus http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-prosecutors-laser-focus-86292 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-09/110505 Blago Leaving Court 1_Wildeboer.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Prosecutors are continuing their laser-like focus on the so-called Senate seat allegations in the retrial of former Illinois Gov.Rod Blagojevich.&nbsp;</p><p>The strongest evidence in the first trial came from secret recordings of Blagojevich's phone calls so that's what prosecutors are focusing on with their first witnesses this time around.<br> <br> Tom Balanoff is a union president, and he told jurors that after Barack Obama was elected president, he became a messenger between Obama's people and Blagojevich.&nbsp;</p><p>Balanoff told Blagojevich that Obama wanted his advisor Valerie Jarrett appointed to his old Senate seat and on a secretly recorded phone call, Blagojevich responded that he'd like to head up a national non-profit that advocated for healthcare.&nbsp;</p><p>"That'd be very attractive," said Blagojevich.&nbsp; "And you know George Soros and Buffet and all those guys, you know, overnight can put 10, 15, 20 million dollars in an advocacy group like that couldn't they? Yeah, and then we could help our new Senator Valerie Jarrett go out and push that."</p><p>Balanoff testified that he thought Blagojevich was suggesting a trade, one for the other.&nbsp; Jurors have heard other tapes in which Blagojevich talks about getting a huge salary from the suggested non-profit.</p><p>Balanoff takes the stand for a second day Tuesday to face more question from the former Illinois governor's defense attorney.</p><p>As testimony wound to a close Monday, Judge James Zagel warned defense attorney Aaron Goldstein not to keep trying to make arguments in the form of questions to jurors.</p><p>Zagel told Goldstein he could cut his cross examinations short and have him sit down if he persisted.</p><p>When Goldstein asked if he could respond to the judge's admonition, Zagel responded, "I don't want you to respond to it. I want you to comply with it."</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 10 May 2011 10:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-prosecutors-laser-focus-86292 Arena claims victory, while Garrido holds out in Chicago's 45th Ward runoff http://www.wbez.org/story/45th-ward/arena-claims-victory-while-garrido-holds-out-chicagos-45th-ward-runoff-84799 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/arena garrido 3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Margins of victory were very small in a handful of Chicago city council runoffs, and the results could change slightly as late-arriving absentee ballots trickle in.<br> <br> Chicago's 45th Ward is on the Northwest Side, where just 29 votes separate the candidates. Graphic artist John Arena leads, and last night talked like he was already in the council.<br> <br> "We need to move forward now," Arena said. "I'm going to build, you know, a coalition - whether it's folks who ran or residents that want to get involved and have a voice in how their ward is run and how the city is run."<br> <br> But Arena's opponent, police office and lawyer John Garrido, is not conceding.<br> <br> "Disappointed right now, but encouraged that everybody worked so hard, and it's close," Garrido said in a phone interview Tuesday night. "You know, we're going to wait for the final count."<br> <br> This contest saw a recent infusion of cash, with the Service Employees International Union spending more than $200,000 dollars for Arena.<br> <br> His 29-vote margin of victory is still unofficial. According to board of elections, as many as 73 absentee ballots for the race may still arrive.</p><p>The 45th Ward is an open seat this year. Incumbent Ald. Pat Levar announced last fall that he was retiring at the end of the term.</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 05:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/45th-ward/arena-claims-victory-while-garrido-holds-out-chicagos-45th-ward-runoff-84799 Blagojevich attorneys ask for interviews of Barack Obama http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/blagojevich-attorneys-ask-interviews-barack-obama-84687 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-21/Blago from floor - WBEZ Sam Hudzik.png" alt="" /><p><p>Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich are asking for access to any interviews between President Barack Obama and the FBI.</p><p>In a Monday morning filing, Blagojevich's attorneys say they want any notes or summaries of interviews with Mr. Obama related to the ex-governor's corruption case. They say they need to the interviews to properly cross-examine potential witness Tom Balanoff, a top labor official.</p><p>He testified for prosecutors in Blagojevich's first trial, saying he acted as a liason between Blagojevich and Mr. Obama's inner circle, talking about who could fill Illinois' vacant U.S. Senate seat.</p><p>Blagojevich's attorneys tried to subpoena the president before the first trial, but the judge denied that request.</p><p>Blagojevich is accused of trying to personally profit by using the governor's power to appoint a senator after Mr. Obama won the presidency. Blagojevich's re-trial is scheduled to begin April 20th.</p><p>During the first trial, prosecutors played a secretly taped phone conversation between Blagojevich and Balanoff about Senate candidates, including Mr. Obama's friend and advisor Valerie Jarrett.</p><p>Then the governor wonders aloud if Mr. Obama donors would give millions to start a health care advocacy group Blagojevich could work for.</p><p>"Yeah and then we can help our new senator, Valerie Jarrett, go out and push that," Blagojevich said.</p><p>"So let me...[let's] move this idea and...let me put that flag up and see where it goes," Balanoff responded.</p><p>Balanoff testified that he never had any intention of looking into Blagojevich's idea. On cross examination, Balanoff acknowledged Blagojevich never explicitly said he'd appoint Jarrett in exchange for personal benefits or favors.</p></p> Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/blagojevich-attorneys-ask-interviews-barack-obama-84687 Chicago unlikely to have any proud Republicans in next City Council http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-doherty/chicago-unlikely-have-any-proud-republicans-next-city-council-84057 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-21/arena garrido 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Republican in the Chicago City Council is a rare breed. For the past twenty years, there's been exactly one. <br /><br />Ald. Brian Doherty is retiring, but in at least two runoff races taking place in April, Republicans are in contention. Technically, the office of alderman is non-partisan. But that doesn't mean the campaigning is.</p><p>In Chicago's far northwest corner, there are a cluster of neighborhoods - quiet ones - if you can ignore the jet noise from nearby O'Hare. This is the 41st Ward, and since 1991, Brian Doherty has represented it on the city council. As he is now, Dougherty then was the only Republican alderman, and that led to some &quot;freshman hazing.&quot;<br /><br />DOHERTY: They were trashing the president - the first George Bush. It was like my second or third meeting. <br /><br />Doherty says then-Ald. Luis Gutierrez turned to him and said, 'You know, Doherty, they're calling you out.'<br /><br />DOHERTY: And so I stood up and...I said, 'As the minority leader of the Republican Party on this floor,' which brought them all to laughter, you know. I said, 'We should stick to what's in front of us and, you know, do our city business and quit worrying about the national business.'<br /><br />But Doherty says party label doesn't mean a thing in this job.<br /><br />DOHERTY: Being an alderman is nonpartisan, because there's really not a Republican or Democrat way to pick up the garbage.<br /><br />That said, Doherty's conservative ideology does at times enter the equation - on issues like domestic partners, abortion, reparations.<br /><br />Now he is leaving the city council, having lost a bid for the state Senate last fall, and he's backing a longtime staff member to replace him.<br /><br />DOUGHERTY: I've known Maurita Gavin since grade school, okay. I actually went to her senior prom with her.<br /><br />Dougherty says he is a &quot;card-carrying Republican,&quot; but Maurita Gavin is more of an independent, though for the past decade or so she's only voted in Republican primaries.<br /><br />Not that that's unusual in the 41st, the most Republican ward in the city. Though even there, the GOP is in the minority. In the primary election last year, only about a quarter of all ballots cast were Republican.<br /><br />Gavin obviousy recognizes that math. Here she is at a forum in the Edgebrook neighborhood.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="263" width="350" title="Maurita Gavin (left) and Mary O'Connor are running against each other in the 41st Ward." class="caption" align="middle" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-21/gavin%20o%27connor.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">GAVIN: I vote for the best candidate regardless of political affiliation, just like I will support the best policies for this ward without regard to political issues.<br /><br />Gavin says that differentiates her from her opponent, caterer Mary O'Connor, who is also Democratic ward committeeman, which Gavin claims makes O'Connor beholden to Democratic leaders. Mary O'Connor shrugs that off.<br /><br />O'CONNOR: Because I'm the Democratic ward committeeman, to feel that I have all these connections is not true. I have not even asked for money from the Democratic organization. I've been running independently.<br /><br />So in that ward - the 41st - it's the Republican going after the Democrat for her party roots.</p><p style="text-align: left;">It's exactly the opposite in the neighboring 45th. One of the candidates there is police officer John Garrido, who has cast ballots at different times in Republican and Democratic primaries. Though last year he ran for Cook County Board President as a Republican.<br /><br />His opponent in the aldermanic race this year, small-business owner John Arena, has labeled Garrido an opportunist.<br /><br />ARENA: When you run as a Republican for Cook County Board president, it's convenient to be a Republican. When you're running for a nonpartisan race, it's convenient to be an independent.<br /><br />Arena is a Democrat, but is not getting any support from the ward's Democratic establishment. He is getting help from a union that most often sides with Democrats.<br /><br />The Service Employees International Union, SEIU, paid for a mailing that shows photos of Republicans like John McCain, George Bush and Sarah Palin. And right in the middle: John Garrido. It says, &quot;The last thing we need is a partisan Republican Alderman.&quot; SEIU declined to be interviewed on tape for this story.<br /><br />Here is Garrido's response to the ad:<br /><br />GARRIDO: It's very divisive. And I know he always talks about this whole consistency thing. You know what? When you vote, is there supposed some kind of indoctrinated consistency in how you vote? For me, it's about the candidate.<br /><br />Garrido is getting support from some GOP organizations. He says the chair of the Cook County Republican Party donated $500. And the Chicago Young Republicans are volunteering for Garrido because they say he's a &quot;great fit for the ward.&quot; The group - no doubt respecting Garrido's own claims of independence - insists its support has nothing do with him being a Republican.<br /><br />And so, next month Chicago may very well elect two aldermen with GOP bona-fides. Neither though are acting like they'd embrace the party like retiring Ald. Brian Doherty does. Which means the new Chicago city council likely will be without a &quot;card carrying Republican&quot; alderman.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Most Republican Wards in Chicago*</strong></p><p><style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;} </style></p><table class="tableizer-table"> <tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Ward</th><th>Percentage Democratic voters</th><th>Percentage Republican voters</th></tr> <tr><td>41</td><td>74.3%</td><td>25.7%</td></tr> <tr><td>42</td><td>76.3%</td><td>23.7%</td></tr> <tr><td>43</td><td>78.8%</td><td>21.2%</td></tr> <tr><td>38</td><td>81.1%</td><td>18.9%</td></tr> <tr><td>45</td><td>81.4%</td><td>18.6%</td></tr></tbody></table> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Most Democratic Wards in Chicago*</strong></p><p><style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;} </style></p><table class="tableizer-table"> <tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Ward</th><th>Percentage Democratic voters</th><th>Percentage Republican voters</th></tr> <tr><td>34</td><td>99.3%</td><td>0.7%</td></tr> <tr><td>8</td><td>99.2%</td><td>0.8%</td></tr> <tr><td>6</td><td>99.2%</td><td>0.8%</td></tr> <tr><td>17</td><td>99.2%</td><td>0.8%</td></tr> <tr><td>21</td><td>99.1%</td><td>0.9%</td></tr></tbody></table> <p style="text-align: left;">* based off ballots pulled during February 2010 primary election</p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Music Button: The Tiki Tones, &quot;Rusty Nail&quot;, from the CD Mai Tai Records Music Sampler, (Mai Tai)</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-doherty/chicago-unlikely-have-any-proud-republicans-next-city-council-84057 SEIU pleased with aldermanic races http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2011/mayor/seiu-pleased-aldermanic-races <p><p>The head of one of Illinois&rsquo; largest unions says that its investment in the Chicago city council races has paid off.</p><p>The&nbsp; Service Employees International Union in Chicago didn&rsquo;t endorse anyone for mayor. But just like the last municipal race four years ago, the union did play a role. <br />&quot;Our strategy was to play in alderman races, when we looked at the mayor&rsquo;s race to stay out and to play in the alderman race with the hope of building a progressive caucus. So from our strategy, it&rsquo;s worked very well so far,&quot; said union head Tom Balanoff.</p><p>Balanoff said about two-thirds of the candidates elected on Tuesday pledged to be in that caucus. Several SEIU-backed aldermanic contenders are now in run-offs. Balanoff said the union poured about $750,000 into the races.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 22:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2011/mayor/seiu-pleased-aldermanic-races