source: Emergency Labor Network


Trade unionists and  defenders of public education were outraged to learn that Chicago Mayor Rahm  Emanuel has called for a court injunction to end the one-week strike of the  26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)

Emanuel’s late-night  announcement on September 17 came immediately after the CTU’s House of  Delegates, with representatives from all the city’s 600 schools, voted to  continue the strike for at least two days, so that they could seriously review  the complicated and lengthy proposed settlement agreed to earlier in the day by  CTU and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The House of  Delegates felt they needed more time to discuss the tentative agreement and  clarify all the details before deciding to end the strike. In addition,  according to reports, many delegates were dissatisfied with aspects of the  proposed agreement and felt that the bargaining team could still do better. The  House of Delegates voted to meet again on Tuesday, September 18.

Emanuel’s injunction  threat raises the stakes in this struggle to a new level. Emanuel is now  claiming that the “continued action by the union leadership is illegal on two  grounds — it is over issues that are deemed by state law to be non-strikeable,  and it endangers the health and safety of our children.”

Both of these claims  are without merit: The teachers are striking over multiple issues in the  contract that are strikeable and have not been resolved. Moreover, one of the  major complaints from teachers and parents in Chicago is precisely about the unsafe and  unhealthy conditions in most public schools.

Emanuel’s call for  an injunction will no doubt infuriate the teachers, who have constantly  denounced the mayor’s “bullying tactics” against their union. The mayor’s latest  move shows clearly that he and the school board, acting overtly on behalf of  corporate interests hell-bent on privatizing and dismantling public education in  Chicago and across the country, will stop at nothing in their drive to weaken  and if possible destroy the union.

This is why it is  more necessary than ever to ratchet up effective labor-community support for the  embattled Chicago teachers to beat back this attack and  win this struggle in defense of public education.

Should the Chicago  Teachers Union decide on Tuesday, September 18 to continue their strike, we in  the Emergency Labor Network urge labor, student, and community organizations to  organize mass mobilizations — up to and including walkouts, occupations, and  job actions — in solidarity with their struggle.

An injury to one is  an injury to all!


Issued  by the Emergency Labor Network (ELN)

For  more information write or P.O. Box 21004, Cleveland, OH44121 or call 216-736-4715 or visit our website at Donations gratefully accepted. Please make checks payable to the ELN  and mail to the above P.O. Box.




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