Weingarten praises Emanuel during CTU strike vote – Substance News

18 Jun

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten was in Chicago on May 23rd to speak out forcefully for the teachers during the 8,000-plus CTU rallies. “It is pretty interesting how the rich are getting richer, how the banks are getting bailed out, yet, except those who are working hard every single day who are educating the kids,” Ms. Weingarten screamed into the microphone at the rally inside the Auditorium Theater. Ms. Weingarten then went outside to march, arm-in-arm, alongside CTU President Karen Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery at the front of a massive march that Substance estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 people, most of them wearing “CTU red” through Chicago’s Loop.

But this week, less than three weeks later, the AFT President was back in Chicago in the middle of a tumultuous Chicago Teachers Union strike authorization vote to applaud Mayor Rahm Emanuel — and the 1%.

“Whether it’s the mayor’s infrastructure program here in Chicago, or eventually everything else we’re doing around the country, is that when labor and business start working good together on trying to put people back to work with good jobs, when we start building things, it builds hope around the country,” Weingarten said. ABC News, which quoted her above, reported that “Mayor Emanuel is in a love fest with the American Federation of Teachers today.”

Is there any doubt about where the AFT and Weingarten’s allegiance lies? Could her timing not have been better to sing the praises of a corporate branded mayor who has gone to war against the teachers union?

Believe me, this was an order from the White House. The AFT president who invited anti-union, charter school advocate and multi-billionaire Bill Gates to the last AFT convention in Seattle, knows who her bosses are.

The AFT is what you call a “company union” who does not really challenge anti-worker policies, and endorses political leaders who sell out the workers to hedge funds and other corporate movers and shakers who hate unions.

[img=5130]Weingarten’s disciple, former CTU president Marilyn Stewart, Substance founder and CTU consultant George Schmidt has argued, helped catapult Arne Duncan into Washington D.C. to head the nation’s schools because of his labor peace with the CTU. That was because Stewart barely raised an eyebrow when he started closing and privatizing schools.

In one laughable moment at a Chicago Board of Education meeting, Stewart spoke and then smiled, as she made the ‘I’ll call you’ hand signal to Duncan to show her close relationship to the then Chicago schools chief.

Today, that company union president has been voted out, and Karen Lewis and the fighting caucus CORE (who many long-time union insiders thought had no chance to win the union election) is in.

There is now a battle between the union and the government in the city of big shoulders.

Weingarten and the AFT are going into overdrive to legitimize Emanuel at a time when his attacks on the teachers union has resulted in this week’s strike authorization vote.

Is there any doubt about the role major unions in this country play today?

When the City College part-time teachers were ready to march out on strike in 2002, it was their own union – AFSCME – who forced the teachers to call off the strike.

Now suddenly, when a major teachers union is actually going to bat for the teachers and fighting the powers that have decimated unions and the middle class as the income gap has grown tremendously, it becomes more and more clear that our corporate branded government continues to work with the major unions to force further attacks on the working class without a fight.

Remember the massive protests in Wisconsin eighteen months ago when Gov. Scott Walker ran through a bill to gut collective bargaining for the unions.

Who was it that helped bring calm, tell the people to go home, and say we can go to the voting booth to bring justice (although the Walker recall just failed)?

Why, the unions of course.

So understand, the CTU and President Lewis are under tremendous pressure, not just from the ruling class, but from their so-called union brothers and sisters in New York, to forget a strike and get on with business as usual.

You know – cutting teachers benefits and compensation, destroying job security, closing public schools and otherwise destroying one of the last unionized sectors of our economy, while waiting for Arne’s call.

via Weingarten praises Emanuel during CTU strike vote – Substance News.


One Response to “Weingarten praises Emanuel during CTU strike vote – Substance News”

  1. Sharon Ravetto June 19, 2012 at 8:46 am #


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