Bernie Sanders to Attend Chicago Teachers Union Strike Authorization Vote in Show of #RedforEd Unity

Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally for US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 3, 2016. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will take his campaign for the 2020 Democrat Presidential nomination on Tuesday to join the strike authorization vote rally of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

Sanders’ campaign issued a press release over the weekend announcing the “Chicago Teachers Union Strike Authorization Rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders” will be held at 7 p.m. at the CTU offices in downtown Chicago:

Throughout the campaign, Sanders has stood on multiple picket lines with workers and has used his email and text lists to urge his supporters to stand with striking workers across the country. In August, he released his Workplace Democracy Plan, which would double union membership during his term and give workers unprecedented protections in the workplace.

The following day, Wednesday, “Sanders will head to Michigan to join United Auto Workers on the picket line in front of General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly,” the press release continued.

“In the midst of heated contract negotiations with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Teachers Union is getting a boost from a major supporter,” the Chicago SunTimes reported.

In addition to presidential candidate Sanders, “Members of several other unions will be there, including support staff at Chicago Public Schools who are represented by Service Employees International Union Local 73.”

The more than 7,000 special education classroom assistants, bus aides, security guards and custodians with SEIU Local 73 have already authorized a potential mid-October work stoppage.

Striking General Motors workers with the United Automobile Workers union are also expected to be among those joining the group.

The CTU appears delighted with the national attention Sanders’ presence will bring to the strike authorization vote.

Local 943—which, like the CTU and Local 73, are poised to strike their schools, with more labor unions and grassroots community groups joining by the hour.

“Senator Sanders has been a stalwart supporter of union workers and their right to strike when necessary for dignity and decent wages and working conditions. He has also championed quality health care for all, a key issue in bargaining for both the CTU and SEIU Local 73,” the CTU said in a press release announcing Tuesday’s event:

CTU members are voting next week to authorize a strike. Local 73 members have already voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against CPS. Both unions are demanding that the mayor put her campaign promises for equity and educational justice in writing in an enforceable contract—including living wages for workers at the bottom of CPS salary scales, thousands of whom earn wages so low their children are eligible for free and reduced lunches under federal poverty guidelines.

Lori Lightfoot successfully campaigned for mayor on a platform of equity and educational justice that closely mirrors the CTU’s contract demands, but has refused to put those promises in writing in an enforceable contract—the only mechanism workers have to force the 5th floor to keep its promises to students and families.

Sanders is not the only purveyor of a Democrat-Socialist political philosophy who will be coming to town in support of the CTU’s demands.
Rebecca Garelli, the former CTU member who moved to Arizona where she became an early leader of the #RedforEd movement posted on her Facebook page Saturday that she’s coming home for a #RedforEd rally in support of the CTU on Sunday:

In July, a four member delegation from the CTU went to Venezuela to lend their support to the socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro:

A four member delegation from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), all active supporters of the #RedforEd movement, traveled to Venezuela earlier this month to provide support for the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro.

The delegation consisted of Richard Berg, a former Teamsters Union official who currently works for the CTU, and “rank and file” CTU strike captains Sarah Chambers, Fabiana Mariel, and V Voeta Vargas, according to press reports.

As Breitbart News reported in February:

A well-funded and subversive leftist movement of teachers in the United States threatens to tilt the political balance nationwide in the direction of Democrats across the country as Republicans barely hang on in key states that they need to hold for President Donald Trump to win re-election and for Republicans to have a shot at retaking the House and holding onto their Senate majority.

This teachers union effort, called #RedforEd, has its roots in the very same socialism that President Trump vowed in his 2019 State of the Union address to stop, and it began in its current form in early 2018 in a far-flung corner of the country before spreading nationally. Its stated goals–higher teacher pay and better education conditions–are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever.

Sanders, along with several other Democrat presidential candidates, has been a strong supporter of the #RedforEd movement throughout his campaign.

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