Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Emanuel picks fights with unions

Unfortunately, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s claim in the Nov. 20 Sun-Times that he is “working well with Chicago’s unions” is not supported by facts. To the contrary, Emanuel has needlessly picked fights with city unions, refusing to negotiate in good faith or respond to offers of cooperation.
Rather than valuing the contributions that teachers, firefighters, nurses, librarians, police officers, bus drivers and other public servants make to keep Chicago working, he has consistently sought to scapegoat these men and women for the city’s problems. Sun-Times editorials have rightly criticized Emanuel and his administration for “trying to bully” and “blame workers” with “spin and mockery.”
More to the point, Emanuel’s record doesn’t support his assertion that he sides with “hardworking middle-class families who pay the tax bills” — not with his 2012 budget plan that cuts jobs and public services while reducing corporate taxes and imposing regressive fees on working people. He will shorten library hours, close police stations and neighborhood health clinics, potentially lengthen emergency response times and eliminate hundreds of jobs amid historic unemployment.
At the same time, Emanuel’s budget will give big corporations a $20 million-a-year break by eliminating the “head tax.” It makes no effort to reform TIF districts that sap revenue from schools, public safety and other services. And it comes as Emanuel says his top priorities for state legislation are cutting taxes for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and cutting modest pensions for public servants.
It’s ironic that Emanuel’s statements came on a day he campaigned for President Brack Obama. The president’s record is one of fighting to save safety net programs and protect public jobs while pushing rich people and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Mayor Emanuel’s priorities look a lot more like those of the president’s anti-union, budget-slashing, protect-the-wealthy political opponents.
Michael Shields, president, Fraternal Order of Police
Lodge 7 Chicago
Karen Lewis, president,
Chicago Teachers Union
Henry Bayer,
executive director,
AFSCME Council 31
Jorge Ramirez, president, Chicago Federation of Labor


  1. How did we end up with this guy? Why don't people vote for their own best interests? Daley and Emanuel were appointed mayor. People in back rooms decided they would back them and the voters just rubber-stamp that decision. Why do we let this happen? We need to wake up and get involved with this process before they take everything. Next time there is a chance to get involved with a candidate that represents our interests we need to do everything to support that person. If we don't we can expect to be fed more of this same old crap.

  2. How did this happen?

    Obama good = rham good.

    Democrat good, republican bad.

    There were several candidates that ran over the years but the unions always backed daley, obama and rham.

    How can democrats be the source and solution to all of our problems?