In Chicago, Teachers and Black Lives Matter Activists Partner Up to Build a Bigger Movement

Source: Leah Fried, Labor Notes, October 25, 2016

Extracting wins from the boss has never been easy—and union membership hovering at a low 11 percent isn’t making it any easier. But a good way to boost our numbers and power is to partner with people who are organized in other ways, building a broader movement as we build our unions.

For several years the Chicago Teachers Union has put incredible effort into building unity—not only among its members, but also with parents and neighborhood groups. The results were on display in October as hundreds of volunteers worked daily in the lead-up to a possible strike.

Parents spoke at press conferences, painted banners, handed out leaflets, distributed T-shirts and yard signs, and talked to other parents. My son’s elementary school was one of many where parents and kids joined teachers in an early-morning picket.

One vehicle was the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign, an alliance of dozens of unions and 60 community organizations—including the Chicago chapters of Black Lives Matter and Black Youth Project 100…..