Rahm's corporate fascism becoming more clear to the average working class person in Chicago... Protests against attacks on living wage for workers at Chicago airports grow as Rahm pushes crony capitalist contracts of the kind that made him a multi-millionaire

As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel makes more and more clear that his version of government owes more to Benito Mussolini and fascism (the merging of corporations and government) than to anything in the USA tradition of democracy, across the city the mayor's slavish adherence to the discredited 20th Century ideologies that brought tragedy to the world becomes more clear. Whether it is Rahm's promotion of "Race To The Top" at the national level or his daily announcements that another major corporation is taking over another portion of government activity locally in Chicago, the eugenics of the previous century is back on the front burner in Chicago politics.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel strikes one of his "El Duce" poses during the Chicago City Council meeting of September 8, 2011. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.But without going into all the details at this time, one of the things that is happening (albeit blacked out in much of Chicago's corporate media) is that the resistance is growing across the city, despite the mayor's aggressive union busting and corporate fascism agenda. Another example came on February 29, 2012, when the following press release came to Substance: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 29, 2012

Contact: Jim Baker, 312-933-0230 (cell),

City leaders join hundreds of O’Hare, Midway workers for hearing. Recent airport firings spark debate about multi-million dollar city contract deals

At an ad-hoc hearing this morning on O’Hare and Midway Airport concession deals and the proposed Stable Jobs Stable Airports Ordinance called by Chicago Alderman Jason C Ervin (28th Ward), Chicago Aldermen heard from airport concession employees concerned they may be tossed out as the City of Chicago hands out lucrative contracts covering most of the concessions at O’Hare and Midway Airports as well as from policy experts who noted the Stable Jobs Stable Airports Ordinance, sponsored by Ervin and thirty-one other Aldermen and modeled on policies adopted by other airports, could generate as much as $8 million a year for Chicago.

“We are there to take care of travelers. My customers aren’t just customers, they’re people. They may be parents like me who are away from their families and I want to help them the way I’d want to be helped if I were away from my family,” said Marivel Rivas, a food service worker who lives in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. “We are taxpayers and voters and we work hard to make the airports great. We want the alderman to have our back, protect our jobs and respect what we are worth,” added Jerry Ward, a retail worker at Midway Airport.

The City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation is undertaking the largest turnover of airport concessions contracts in the Chicago’s history – handing out lucrative contracts worth more than $250 million a year and putting the jobs of 1,500 Chicagoans who work in O’Hare and Midway concessions at risk. Fears were confirmed in January when the majority of existing retail workers in the O’Hare International Terminal (T5) were tossed out of work as a new contractor took over under the controversial 20-year International Terminal contract.

Italy's dictator Benito Mussolini (above) proclaimed that fascism was the government of corporations, allied with the dictatorship. Italians fascism preceded German Nazism by a decade and was organized with the support of the wealthiest Italians and their corporations to thwart "Reds" and unions.“The airport wants to abandon us but the City of Chicago can do better. I am asking the City of Chicago to respect the work I have done these 12 years and pass this ordinance that would have allowed me to keep my job.” said Margaret Shields, a retail employee with twelve years experience at O’Hare who was recently fired when a new contractor took over at the O’Hare International Terminal. Shields and others spoke in support of the Stable Jobs Stable Airports Ordinance, which calls on contractors seeking business at Chicago’s airports to ensure job stability, living wages, and labor peace.

“What the Stable Jobs Stable Airports ordinance does is something that has been done in many other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and more. What it does is ensures that the most valuable part of the airport - the people who work there - will always be there. It means that Chicago wants to invest in us, invest in our families and invest in our neighborhoods by supporting good jobs.,” said Jesus Valle, a 32-year employee at O’Hare Airport.

Dr. William Sites, a professor at the University of Chicago who was part of a team that released a study of the ordinance last November, echoed this point, noting the economic benefits for Chicago communities. “Our study concludes that a living wage regulation covering all concessions workers at O’Hare and Midway airports would deliver substantial benefits to the workers themselves and to the Chicago economy at very little cost to airport consumers and concessionaires,” said Dr. Sites.

"This fight is about equity,” Alderman Ervin concluded. “The Stable Jobs ordinance will level the playing field for the residents of this City who go to work everyday to provide for their families. We won't allow anyone to take advantage of our residents; that's not what Chicago stands for and it never will."

Alderman Ervin called the hearing after the City Council’s Workforce Development and Audit Committee, which is considering the Stable Jobs Stable Airports Ordinance, abruptly cancelled the hearing it had set for the same time. The Workforce Development and Audit Committee has not met since September 2011.


March 2, 2012 at 1:32 AM

By: John Kugler

Rahm v Schools Gets Ugly

It's nice to see someone giving it to Rahm as much as Rahm dishes it out:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday there's no truth to the contention made earlier this week that he'd given up on 25 percent of Chicago's students and said his actions speak louder than words.

[...] In a sit-down interview with NBC Chicago earlier this week, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis recalled a conversation she had with then Mayor-elect Emanuel.

"In that conversation, he did say to me that 25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them," Lewis said Monday.

Knowing Rahm's history in Washington DC and Lewis' contention that Rahm motherfucked her in a private meeting, we have no doubt that Rahm said something, if not exactly, then pretty near what Lewis is claiming. Rahm cares only about himself, his next move and what it takes to get to the next spot. And if that means writing off 25% of the Chicago Public Schools student body, then he'll do it.

Actually, we're surprised it's only 25% he'd write off seeing as how Rahm would gladly see 100% of the teachers union disbanded and 100% of the coppers unequipped for G-8 and 100% of firefighters eating cat food after they retire.

March 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM

By: Rich Gibson

Education in the corporate state

George's analysis of education within the corporate state is very important. School worker unions all over the US, particularly NEA locals but AFT too, are facing yet another round of demands for concessions. The last 40 years of the labor "movement" in the US demonstrates that concessions do not save jobs. Like giving blood to sharks, concessions only make bosses want more. The US printed $12.9 trillion and gave that to the banks. Let them print the money and give it to school workers — or do that and give the jobless jobs, and for those who have jobs, a 30 hour week with no cut in pay, and in classrooms, real caps on class sive at 15. What gets people from here to there — strikes, general strikes and civil strife which is far more educative than the test frenzy that goes on in schools now. Meanwhile, NEA has a series of dilemmas: how to pour money and volunteers into the demagogue, Obama's campaign when his education agenda is simply a war agenda — class and empire's war? How to beat back the AFT's millionaire's tax which makes sense, and replace it with the NEA/Brown tax which taxes poor and working people? How to affiliate with the bankrupt and corrupt AFL-CIO which is only good at beating up its own members? And how to stop job actions which would disrupt the Obama campaign when exactly what is needed is job actions.....should be an interesting summer.

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