CICERO – Representatives of several Union locals came to Cicero Town Hall to publically express their thanks to town President Larry Dominick Thursday for his continued support of labor.
In particular, they credtied Dominick with brokering a deal with Wal-Mart to build the Super Walmart now under construction on Cicero Avenue using only union-paying workers.
"I have the privilege and honor of representing 100,000 union men and women who work in the construction industry in Cook County," said Tom Villanova of the Chicago Building and Construction Trades Council. "It's been a pleasure to work with all the city officials here. President Dominick has been great with us. But the good news is, it puts our members back to work.
"We've been through a phase of unemployment where people are losing their homes [and] their benefits, and by that, their families, too. These are projects where people can come back, work, make a good middle class living and support their families and live the American dream."
State Sen. Martin Sandoval said the changes going on in Cicero are not seen in any other suburb in western Cook County.
"There's a Renaissance in Cicero," he said. "Businesses are opening, businesses are coming back because of the vision of Larry Dominick and this Town Board. And it couldn't have been done without the support of labor. That Walmart being built is going to create at least 300 union jobs throughout the construction of this project. It's also indicative of how Larry Dominick and the town puts its money where its mouth is."
Dominick expressed his thanks to the unions as well.
"I want to thank all the Unions for supporting me and I support them," he said. "And I support that all the projects we do in Cicero, we try to use union help and minority tradesmen. We're here for everybody, but it's important to support the unions because they support the people."
Asked how many Cicero residents may be among union members with a new job, Dominick said he didn't know for certain.
"I drive around a lot and I see a lot of signs around town that say, 'Proud to be Union,'" he said.
Also paying tribute to Dominick were Thomas E. Ryan, Jr., of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Local 13; Ed Maher, of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 250; Rocco Terranova, of Sheetmetal Workers Local 73; and Jim Pijanowski, of Machinist Local 150.
The press conference set a different tone for news coming out of Cicero about Dominick in recent weeks. The town president was named in a libel suit two weeks ago filed by his brother, Richard, that came on the heels of a $700,000 settlement paid to a former female police officer who alleged Dominick made sexual advances toward her.