Special coverage: Inside Chicago’s historic teachers’ strike

In These Times Editors October 18, 2019

The strike is on. (Photo by Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Over 30,000 Chica­go teach­ers and sup­port staff have tak­en to the pick­et lines in a mas­sive strike. In These Times has been on the front lines of this his­toric labor strug­gle, pro­vid­ing in-depth cov­er­age from the per­spec­tives of teach­ers, orga­niz­ers and work­ing-class Chicagoans.

Reporter Kari Lyder­sen was out at the pick­et lines ear­ly Thurs­day morn­ing and filed this illu­mi­nat­ing sto­ry on the walk out, Why Are Chica­go Teach­ers Strik­ing Against May­or Lori Light­foot? They’ve Been Lied To” Before. Lyder­sen writes:

At schools across the city, teach­ers and staff waved signs, blew whis­tles, chant­ed and cheered to a cacoph­o­ny of sup­port­ive honk­ing from morn­ing traf­fic. Teach­ers said they’re dis­ap­point­ed that the admin­is­tra­tion of May­or Lori Light­foot has not yet fol­lowed through on cam­paign promis­es to increase school staffing, shrink class sizes, cre­ate an elect­ed school board and oth­er­wise bol­ster pub­lic edu­ca­tion. But with the sup­port of the pub­lic — and a whop­ping 94% of mem­ber­ship vot­ing to strike — they are hopeful.

In addi­tion to Lydersen’s pick­et line report, In These Times has also pub­lished an op-ed from orga­niz­ers Amisha Patel and Nathan Ryan on why the res­o­lu­tion to the strike lies in tax­ing the rich, as well as a sto­ry from reporter Jeff Schuhrke on how the teach­ers won the sup­port of the pub­lic ahead of their dra­mat­ic labor action. And we have Rebec­ca Burns on the union’s nov­el approach of bar­gain­ing for the com­mon good.”

Pre­vi­ous­ly, we pub­lished In These Times web edi­tor Miles Kampf-Lass­in’s sto­ry on why pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie Sanders is stand­ing with strik­ing teach­ers, and anoth­er piece by Kari Lyder­sen on what’s at stake in the conflict. 

Chica­go teach­ers are again remind­ing us that there is pow­er in a union. Sol­i­dar­i­ty forever.

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