The 21st Show

McDonald’s Workers Lawsuit; The Possibility of Female Deacons in the Catholic Church; Proposal to Shrink Minor League Baseball



Chicago-area McDonald’s workers have filed a lawsuit against the company. They’re alleging the fast-food giant failed to protect them from violent incidents in restaurants. Plus this fall, Pope Francis said he would reopen the work of a 2016 commission that studied the issue of women Decaons in the Catholic church. We speak with a religious scholar who was one of 12 people on that commission. And a new proposal by Major League Baseball would cut the leagues affiliations with 42 minor league teams nationwide. 

McDonald's Workers Lawsuit

More than a dozen Chicago-area McDonald’s workers have filed a lawsuit against the fast food giant and several franchise owners.  The workers claim the restaurant chain, one of the largest and most profitable in the world, created unsafe working environments. The lawsuit sites violence in stores, sexual harassment and unsafe building designs as part of the problem. 

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz is a business reporter for the Chicago Tribune who focuses on the food industry. 

Alison Dickson is an instructor at the University of Illinois School of Labor Relations in Chicago. She focuses on issues affecting workers in the U.S., particularly low-wage workers. 

A Possibility of Female Deacons in the Catholic Church

For hundreds of years, only men have been allowed to join the Roman Catholic clergy, but supporters of women’s ordination are hopeful that may change soon. 

Back in 2016, Pope Francis agreed to a request from the international organization of religious sisters to set up a commission that would explore the role of female Deacons in the early church. After commission concluded their work in 2018, the results were never released to the public. But, this Fall, the issue made headlines again when Pope Francis said he would reopen the possibility of female deacons and that he would have the commission recalled. 

Phyllis Zagano is an author and a senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University. In August of 2016, Phyllis was one of just 12 people world-wide to be appointed by Pope Francis to his Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women.  

Heidi Schlumpf is a senior correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter based in Chicago.

Shrinking Minor League Baseball

For baseball fans outside of major cities like Chicago or St. Louis, going to a minor league game can be a great way to get your baseball fix. Whether it’s the Kane County Cougars in Northeastern Illinois or the Peoria Chiefs in the central part of the state, minor league games can be a fun (and cheap) way to enjoy the sport. 

But, a new proposal from Major League Baseball could make some drastic changes to the minor leagues. The proposal would sever the MLB’s affiliations with 42 minor league teams nationwide. The MLB has said that the move is a necessary step in making the minor leagues more efficient and improving conditions at minor league facilities. 

Although no Illinois teams are currently on the list, there is a possibility that the Quad Cities River Bandits could be added to it. For more on what this potential change could mean for baseball players and fans, Kevin Reichard is the founder and publisher of Wisconsin based Ballpark Digest.

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