On September 3rd, Action Now members joined the Chicago Teachers Union at their Labor Day Rally for a fair contract! 18,000 people showed up to support Chicago’s public
school teachers that have been demonized, short-changed and attacked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. Emanuel and Brizard have spent this past year launching an assault on students, teachers and parents by refusing to invest any money, time or resources into public neighborhood schools. All this while simultaneously pouring money into charter and AUSL turnaround schools. Action Now is proud to stand in solidarity with Chicago’s teachers, parents and students to demand that our Mayor invest in good public schools in our neighborhoods!
The other event Action Now participated in was a press conference on August 29th, 2012 where the janitors of SEIU Local 1 gathered outside of City Hall to call for a Responsible Bidders Ordinance. Mayor Emanuel has specifically targeted union workers, replacing them with less experienced part-time workers and slashing wages and benefits.
For example, this summer the City hired an irresponsible contractor that laid off janitors with good, family-sustaining jobs, paying their replacements lower wages and providing no benefits. The Responsible Bidder Ordinance would ensure that the City award contracts to companies that provide good jobs and quality services.
Action Now leader Charles Brown, a retired police officer and Englewood resident, spoke at the press conference in support of the Responsible Bidder Ordinance, saying, “Every time you look up, a little part of the city workforce has been chopped away. Chicago has a wonderful tradition of valuing hard work. Public contractors should not be leading the race to the bottom, the public workforce should set the standards…These (janitors) had good jobs and they were nice ladies and gentlemen. This irresponsible company hired replacement workers and didn’t honor the terms of their contract. And so far the city hasn’t done a D-A-M-N thing.”