By Alberto Pupo
There is a war that is being fought before our very eyes at home. In the City of Chicago this week has played host to a battle between Corporations and the Rights of Workers. Teachers in Chicago have been on strike four for days now trying to stand up for not only their rights, but also standing up for the rights of workers everywhere in America. In a city that had not seen a major strike in twenty five years, on an election year no less., The Teacher’s Unions in the Third Largest Public School District have taken a stand in order to fight for an overall better agreement as is their right in setting up an employment contract. This is part of that little magic known as Collective Bargaining available to workers who are lucky enough to have Union Protection. Yet with the Teachers standing up for their rights the Corporate Media and those who do not believe in Workers rights have been going after the Teachers. Here are educators of future generations, an individuals with a crucial and important function in society being practically branded witches simply because they want to improve their working conditions.
The Anti -Union rhetoric has been flying like crazy all week. The Corporate Media has been in a frenzy painting teacher as lazy, arrogant , greedy and almost a Second Coming of Al Queda if you will! The strike is taking place in Chicago where at the helms there is a supposed Democrat in Office ( A DINO ie Democrat in Name Only if you will). Rahm Emmanuel stood against the Teachers from the very beginning. “He claimed that the strike would hurt the children.” (lest everyone forget certainly not his children because privatizing Mayor of the year has his kids in a private school). The irony is that the Democrats do receive a good deal of donations from Unions especially and yes even though Rahm may now be in denial teacher union’s contribute and have always contributed to the party. Interestingly enough event hough Emanuel has been a beneficiary of these contributions he is now completely turned his back on Teachers and have pretty much try to paint them as the scourge of the City of Chicago.
Conservatives never back away from an opportunity bash more anti union sentiment to the average American. Mitt Romney has already entered the fray to defend his newfound chum in privatizing Rahm Emanuel. Romney once again is propagating the tired old line that the Unions in striking are “not having the interests of the children at heart”. This has been the canard of the Right and its nothing more than Orwellian Speak to justify privatization of the school system. A privatized school system is the dream of corporate America as they can make a killing off schooling and also ensure that they can have a workforce that would be forced to work for substandard wages. With the Right and some Democrats uniting the Teachers are taking heat on all sides.
The outcome of this battle is a defining moment in our history. The battle to save all unions public and private have caused massive uprising in the last two years. If you recall in 2011 the battle in Wisconsin was a battle against the Anti democracy viewpoints of Scott Walker. This battle in Chicago is part of the overall larger war that is being fought against Unions. A victory for the teachers will send a positive message that the United States will not stand for further assaults on public education. It will send the all important message that the people have grown sick of the privatization mania and that the rights of the worker will be respected, because bottomline this is what the Chicago teachers are fighting for. The war they wage is not only for their own collective agreement, but for those that may follow. A victory by Emanuel and other devious Anti Union forces will only further hurt the overall rights of the workers.