Chicago Teachers Go Out On Strike Again

Barbara Madeloni

October 18, 2019

In 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union woke up union members and educators across the country with a winning strike. Seven years later, after a wave of teacher strikes in the last two years, CTU is at it again. 

As educators walk out today, a lot feels like 2012. The strike authorization vote was high (94 percent) and the mayor is disparaging their demands and branding the strike as hurtful to children. 

This time the union has extended its demands: it wants to tackle student homelessness and affordable housing for low-income Chicagoans.

Chicago teachers and Service Employees (SEIU) Local 73 are fighting for housing rights, fair wages, and quality of life for students and educators. Photo: CTU Flickr account.

THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT

But there are noteworthy differences. 

This time, 25,000-member CTU is joined on strike by Service Employees (SEIU) Local 73, which represents 7,500 classroom assistants, bus drivers and aides, security guards, and other support staff. 

This time the union has extended its demands: it wants to tackle student homelessness and affordable housing for low-income Chicagoans.

And this time it is up against a new mayor—not the blatant corporate shill Rahm Emmanuel but liberal Lori Lightfoot, whose election platform promised support for the Chicago Public Schools. In spite of these promises, Lightfoot chose the same bargaining team that served Emanuel and is holding firm against the unions' demands.

Before the 2012 strike, Local 73 had settled a concessionary contract, and members crossed CTU picket lines. CTU once represented some of the SEIU members, and tension between the two unions had emerged. Management pays SEIU's starting special education assistants more than CTU's teaching and instructional assistants, although they do similar work. With new leadership in Local 73, tensions have been eased and communication among leaders established.

One moment of coalition solidarity came when CTU member and...

Autoworker Caravan
October 22, 2019

Inequality continues — Concessions remain!

We fought for the things that matter to us. We went on strike and supported our sisters and brothers who went on strike! We made it loud and clear that we wanted everyone made whole. Instead a hole was left in our solidarity. Everyone Tier One! Let’s look at the facts. The complete contract (“White Book”) is here . The Solidarity House Contract “Highlights” are here . References are to the white book unless otherwise stated.

Everyone...

Wilma Salgado
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The recent protests in Ecuador represent more than just fuel subsidies, but a stagnant economy leaving all but the rich behind. 

Haz clic aquí para leer la versión en español. 

Ecuador has been going through an intense period of protests and strikes by social movements triggered by the government's decision to raise fuel prices. This policy was implemented in the context of an agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February 2019, which caused the economy...

David Finkel
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Donald Trump’s treacherous sellout of the Syrian Kurds puts a new spin on the old saying that imperialism “has no permanent friends, only permanent interests.” It’s true that the ultimate betrayal of the Kurds was almost inevitable — as has happened so many times before. But the particular way Trump’s done it — right after a phone call  with his Turkish autocrat buddy Erdogan, without consulting the Pentagon, State Department, “national security” staff, major allies or anyone...

Urgent statement
October 10, 2019

We, the women who resist - in the streets, in our territories, from our spaces and communities - we are the feminist sisters from Abya Yala, those who combat with our bodies, and sustain life; We sympathize with the criminalized, detained, repressed and persecuted in these days of protest against the neoliberal economic measures (paquetazo) of Lenin Moreno´s government. Since the announcement on Tuesday, of the structural adjustment measures in Ecuador, the different organizations and popular movements,...

Socialist Resistance
October 5, 2019

Membership of the European Union (EU) has given hundreds of millions of people some idea of what it’s like to live in a world without borders. Over a million British citizens have been able to live, work, study or retire all across Europe. About three million EU citizens live in Britain for exactly the same reasons.

Socialists absolutely support this freedom of movement. It is one of the key reasons why Socialist Resistance and many others on the left are determined to do everything we can to stop...

Susan Pashkoff
October 5, 2019

Parliament returned from its summer recess on September 3 to a new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, elected by only Tory members following Theresa May resignation as Prime Minister.

The Tory government had a working majority of 1 at this point (including the MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party; DUP). Johnson lost this the very same day when Phillip Lee (a Tory remainer MP) dramatically crossed the floor to join the Liberal Democrats while the Prime Minister was addressing Parliament. The Parliamentary...

Dianne Feeley
October 2, 2019

On the picket lines at the Detroit-Hamtramck General Motors plant, people drop by to bring doughnuts, coffee, and pizzas. Bernie Sanders’s supporters swelled the mid-morning picketing earlier this week, joining strikers from GM plants as far away as Toledo and Flint to meet up with Sanders. Alongside Ford and Chrysler workers were contingents from Wayne State University and the Metro Detroit DSA.

In brief remarks, Sanders thanked strikers for standing up to a corporation that pays its CEO $22 million...

Steve Downs
September 27, 2019

Have you ever had an argument with a friend and suddenly realized that your disagreement stemmed, at least in part, from the fact that the two of you were using the same words to mean different things, or different words to mean the same thing?

As I read contributions to The Call and Jacobin, and from Solidarity members, I wonder if that doesn’t explain some of the disagreements about “reform or revolution” that have come up between some Solidarity members and some members of DSA’s Bread and...

Peter Solenberger
September 27, 2019

The article by Steve Downs “Three questions of political strategy” poses three intriguing questions: Does “democratic road to socialism” = “parliamentary road to socialism”? Does “insurrection” = “revolution”? Does “rupture” = “revolution”? Steve found these questions helpful in understanding the contending views in Solidarity and DSA over reform or revolution. So do I.

Steve posed the first two questions in a contribution to the Solidarity Discussion Bulletin during the...

Statement by Autoworker Caravan
September 25, 2019

Picket at GM HQ
3-5 pm Friday, 9/27
Support the UAW strike!

Our strike against GM is showing the company and workers everywhere that UAW members are united and strong in the fight for jobs, justice and equity.

We are getting an outpouring of support from UAW sisters and brothers, from unions: ♦ Teamsters ♦ Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) ♦ National Nurses United ♦ American Postal Workers Union and many others, from ♦ presidential hopefuls Elisabeth Warren...

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