Not only is this the heart of Obama country, where unions are expected to play ball with the Democrats in an election year. It is also a city where, thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, teachers are not allowed to strike unless more than 75% of union members vote for it.
Yet it is not just the local establishment that will be unsettled here. This is getting national attention in the US, and a strike could be an embarrassment to President Obama. Moreover, it could re-ignite the American labour movement at a time of global unrest.
Chicago’s teachers could strike a blow for organised labour globallyJuly 17, 2012
In Egypt: Mahalla textile workers strike to remove CEOJuly 15, 2012
Thousands of textile workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving company began a strike on Sunday morning demanding the removal of the company’s chairman and upper management.
As I was writing yesterday, the working class in Egypt has played and continues to play a leading role in the revolutionary process in Egypt. It is significant that the Mahalla workers are striking, as they’ve played one of the most significant roles. The significance of the Mahalla factory is outlined in the excellent documentary by Al Jazeera, The Factory. Workers at Mahalla have been central to Egyptian social movements for decades, including in recent events, as some of the first protestors to raise the demand for the fall of the Mubarak regime.
Is that a TDU pin on Kids in the Hall?July 15, 2012
Is it just me or does that look like Bruce McCulloch wearing a Teamsters for a Democratic Union pin? (Bruce is playing “Shona,” the token feminist in the radical Humanoids for Humanism group.)
For those that don’t know the Teamsters for a Democratic Union are a rank-and-file reform movement within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They have a very long history, full of lessons for those committed to rebuilding and reviving the US labor movement. Much of this is laid out by Dan la Botz in his book Rank and File Rebellion.