Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White campaigned among transit workers and firefighters Monday to rally support for striking Chicago teachers. The 26,000 striking teachers have entered their second week of the strike after voting on Sunday not to return to work. Now the striking teachers face the threat of injunction by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“People in general are a commodity,” said one transit worker out picketing with the teachers. “The rich just want to use us and dump us as fast as possible.”
At a nearby bus terminal, transit workers voiced their support for the teachers. “They should continue to fight,” said David, a bus operator. “We're going through the same thing. We're working without a contract. They are phasing out full time bus operators for part timer work only. I'm behind the teachers 100 percent because they are fighting for our rights too.”
White talked about the role of Emanuel and his relationship to Obama. Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff and a current top fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign, is carrying out in Chicago the same policy as the administration is pursuing nationally. “I thought that Obama and Rahm had a falling out over this strike, because Obama is always talking about being for education, but I guess not. But it doesn't really surprise me.”
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