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Fanny packs from Chicago Teacher's Union greet AFT convention goers

Bright Red CTU fanny packs?


Honest: Fanny packs from Marilyn Stewart (and "Go Promotions")...

DATELINE CHICAGO, THE AFT. Walking into the AFT convention at Navy Pier as the American Federation of Teachers began its bi-annual convention on July 10, 2008, the first thing a curious delegate from, say, Guam, would bump into was the local union's Welcome Booth - and bright red Chicago Teachers Union fanny packs.

Anyone who was looking for the Chicago Teachers Union grievance department staff on Thursday, January 10, would have been better off paying the $18 to park at Navy Pier (a lot less than parking for $40 or more at one of the convention hotels) and go upstairs to the Registration Area of the AFT convention. There, at the entrance, the unionist would find virtually all of the peons and office workers on the staff of the once-mighty Chicago Teachers Union distributing the official local gift to the 3,000 or more delegates gathering from across the USA and around the world.

The remembrance of Chicago's local union?

Bright red fanny packs emblazoned with the official Chicago Teachers Union logo.

And, no, this is not a Second City satire. Who could have made up such a great idea? Think of the possibilities:

"We can't prevent Arne Duncan from kicking you there, but at least we've cushioned the blow a bit..."

or...

"If you're going to get kicked around, the least your union can do is soften the blow a bit..."

Fanny packs.

Hopefully, one of the other reporters covering the AFT will get at least one of these soon-to-be-priceless Chicago collectables.
Meanwhile, just try and imagine the creation in your favorite synonym for "scarlet".

A friend is going to wash them a dozen times between now and the end of the AFT's Chicago visit, just to see how fast the red becomes pink becomes shreds. We'll let everyone know.

While AFT was receiving its quota of CTU fanny packs, the Chicago Board of Education was completing the elimination of the jobs of all of the teachers at Orr and Harper high schools and at Copernicus, Fulton, Howe and Morton elementary schools a few miles from the Navy Pier site of the AFT convention.

Although the AFT has scheduled a "labor action" during the convention (Sunday afternoon), instead of protesting against the Chicago attack on the teachers in six schools (and a few others not as complete or dramatic), the nation's teacher union will be protesting at a hospital (St. Joseph's) on the lakefront in support of the nurses and other hospital staff trying to organize medical workers at Resurrection hospitals in Chicago.



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