March 2010

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Chicago IBEW Leader Honored By Faith Group

For Chicago Local 134 Business Manager Tim Foley, activism isn’t just about politics—it’s part of a higher purpose. His success in negotiating contracts for more than 11,000 members in the construction, residential and communication fields earned him the “Visionary Leadership” award from Arise Chicago, a progressive faith-based organization.

Arise Chicago presented Foley with the award at the group’s first annual Faith-Labor-Action Breakfast last November.

Rev. C.J. Hawking, Arise Chicago’s executive director, described Foley’s effort to secure good wages for workers in the midst of economic turndown as “phenomenal.”

“The labor movement is the best anti-poverty institution we have,” Hawking said. “Tim is amazing and very humble, and IBEW members in Chicago are lucky to have him.”

Workers in the Windy City have weathered harsh blows in the recession. The unemployment rate hit 10.3 percent last December—nearly 4 points higher than the previous year. The construction industry has been especially hard hit, shedding 53,000 jobs nationwide at the end of 2009.

“The fact that Foley was able to negotiate raises for his members in this climate was impressive,” Hawking said.

Formerly known as the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, Arise Chicago’s mission is to build partnerships between the faith community and workers to educate, organize and advocate for public policy changes.

Chicago Local 134 Business Manager Tim Foley accepted a leadership award from a local faith-based organization.