Chicago

Chicago teachers, schools staff and parks district workers set joint October 17 strike date

By Kristina Betinis, 4 October 2019

Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants teachers to accept wage increases that barely rise above the inflation rate along with higher healthcare costs and more cuts to school services.

Chicago teachers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

By Kristina Betinis, 28 September 2019

The 94 percent authorization vote is a powerful expression of opposition to the conditions imposed by decades of Democratic mayoral administrations.

Striking University of Chicago nurses return to work after five-day lock-out

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2019

The nurses returned to work on Wednesday without any resolution of their grievances.

University of Chicago nurses locked out for conducting a one-day strike

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 September 2019

More than 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center who conducted a one-day strike face a five-day lockout as temporary nurses were hired to fill in.

As negotiations drag on

Chicago teachers union sets September 26 date for strike authorization vote

By Kristina Betinis, 7 September 2019

If a strike wins support by 75 percent of CTU members, teachers could walk out October 7.

“They said they were going to fix everything—people still are hurting"

One year since the Chicago house fire that killed ten children

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 6 September 2019

Since the time of the Little Village fire, the same processes that led to the blaze in one of Chicago’s poor, working-class neighborhoods have led to even more fire tragedies in the city.

Chicago Cambria Hotel workers continue strike

By Benjamin Mateus, 4 September 2019

Cambria workers remain on strike, their struggle isolated by UNITE HERE, as they battle against the hotel owners, OPERS, the public employee pension fund managed by several unions.

US Steel to lay off 150 workers in Indiana as Trump administration escalates trade war

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 August 2019

The announcement of the layoffs in East Chicago follows US Steel’s declaration earlier this month that up to 200 workers will lose their jobs at its Great Lakes Works facility outside Detroit.

Chicago school district and union officials prepare to sell austerity contract to teachers

By Kristina Betinis, 14 August 2019

The Democratic Party “fact-finder” has come down on the side of the district’s demands for a virtual wage freeze and further inroads on teachers’ health care benefits.

16 Shots: Documenting the Chicago Democratic Party’s cover-up of the police murder of Laquan McDonald

By Michael Walters and Kristina Betinis, 3 August 2019

Through powerful interviews with family members, witnesses, attorneys, city officials and activists, the timeline of the murder and cover-up is reconstructed.

Chicago Amazon workers confront management, demand improvements

By George Gallanis, 25 July 2019

The day after international protests against Amazon during Prime Day, Chicago Amazon workers staged a “walk-in” to demand increased pay, health insurance and air conditioning in their facility.

“I want to strike and send a message to the city”

With anger growing, Chicago Teachers Union floats threat of September walkout

By Kristina Betinis, 22 July 2019

Teachers who have suffered through years of falling real income, deteriorating classroom conditions and mass layoffs are determined to fight, but they face a brick wall of opposition from the CTU.

“International solidarity would give so much power back to the working class”

Chicago Ford worker discusses issues in 2019 contract fight

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 July 2019

An autoworker at Ford Chicago Assembly Plant raises demands and supports the Autoworker Newsletter’s call for an international strategy to fight the global attack on autoworkers.

Socialism 2019: The ex-International Socialist Organization embraces the Democratic Party

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 July 2019

Amid Trump’s threats of war, unprecedented assaults on immigrants and attacks on democratic rights, Jacobin and the ex-leaders of the ISO hosted an event promoting the Democratic Party and American imperialism.

Thousands march in Chicago to demand end to US immigrant detention camps, raids and deportations

By Kristina Betinis, 15 July 2019

The event was aimed at containing the enormous social opposition to the extreme-right policies of the Trump administration and the Republicans, within the confines of the Democratic Party,

Chicago water meter program halted after testing reveals lead contamination

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 July 2019

Officials have known for many years that the city has a serious issue related to lead in its drinking water.

"Socialism 2019" conference: A Democratic Party operation

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 July 2019

The featured speakers and panels at the Socialism Conference reveal an event devoted to channeling the leftward movement of workers and youth back into the confines of the Democratic Party.

Lutheran student pastor Betty Rendón deported back to Colombia less than a month after being detained by ICE

By Jacob Crosse, 6 June 2019

Pleas from community members and family fell on deaf ears as the Trump administration escalates its war on immigrants.

As new Democratic mayor takes office

Chicago Public Schools lay off hundreds of teachers and staff

By Kristina Betinis, 5 June 2019

Layoff notices were sent to 220 teachers and 498 support staff ahead of the June 30 Chicago Teachers Union contract expiration.

University of Chicago graduate student union plans three-day picket

By George Gallanis, 1 June 2019

Graduate students must take this struggle out of the hands of the American Federation of Teachers-backed Graduate Students United union and form rank-and-file committees.

Chicago police kill bipolar man inside his home

By Andy Thompson, 28 May 2019

Myles Frazier was shot and killed after he barricaded himself in his home in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city’s south side.

“All schools aren’t created equal in Chicago”

Chicago teachers speak on inequality, attacks on public education at downtown rally

By Marcus Day, 24 May 2019

Teachers at a rally in downtown Chicago Wednesday described the deplorable conditions facing them and their students.

Teachers at three Chicago charter schools strike as union blocks common fight with public school educators

By Alexander Fangmann and Andy Thompson, 6 May 2019

The Chicago Teachers Union has worked closely with the Democratic Party to ensure that the two-tier education system is completely unaffected.

Horrific plant explosion kills at least three workers in northern Chicago suburb

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 May 2019

The 30,000-square foot plant was located close to residential areas, where witnesses reported power outages and structural and other property damage in nearby buildings.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel intervenes to end CSO musicians strike with concessions

By George Marlowe, 29 April 2019

While musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra fought courageously, their seven-week strike was deliberately isolated by the unions.

“Everyone should have access to great arts education”

Musicians Emma Gerstein and Max Raimi speak on Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

By our reporters, 27 April 2019

As the CSO strike reaches a critical turning point, musicians Emma Gerstein and Max Raimi speak about the strike and in defense of arts and culture.

Mayor Emanuel intervenes to shut down Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

By George Marlowe, 26 April 2019

As part of his final act on behalf of the city’s financial elite, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel has offered to intervene to end the nearly two-month strike by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians

University of Illinois at Chicago faculty announces deal on eve of strike

By George Gallanis, 26 April 2019

More than 1,100 professors, lecturers, instructors and assistant professors are voting on a concessionary contract being pushed by the UIC United Faculty union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

Socialism and the defense of culture

By Kristina Betinis, 22 April 2019

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians, now in the seventh week of their strike, require the active support of the entire working class, in the United States and internationally.

“Capitalism is a terrible scheme that robs people of their labor”

As negotiations hit impasse, Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians continue strike and free concerts

By Michael Walters and George Marlowe, 20 April 2019

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra management reiterated its demand that musicians give up their traditional pensions and also canceled concerts through the end of April.

The political lessons of the University of Illinois graduate student strike

By Andy Thompson, 16 April 2019

The strike by 1,500 graduate students has come to an end with a totally inadequate agreement, raising important political lessons that must be assimilated in preparation for future struggles.

“It seems to be class warfare”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra clarinetist John Bruce Yeh speaks on musicians strike

By George Marlowe, 15 April 2019

Clarinetist and striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musician John Bruce Yeh spoke on the major issues of the strike as well as broader questions of social inequality and authoritarianism.

Chicago symphony musicians strike defies aristocratic principle

By Kristina Betinis, 13 April 2019

As CSO strike enters sixth week, a right-wing pressure campaign is being mounted to try to force the musicians to make concessions on their pensions.

New video emerges of Chicago police officers tasing and beating high school student

By Jacob Crosse, 13 April 2019

The revelation of the incident which took place at the end of January has exposed yet another attempted cover-up inside the Chicago Police Department.

070 UIC faculty vote to strike

13 April 2019

“We believe in our art and can’t let them take it away”

Chicago symphony musicians defy management offer, continue strike

By Michael Walters and George Marlowe, 10 April 2019

CSO musicians have courageously defied the insulting “last, best, final offer” of management and are continuing their longest-ever strike.

University of Illinois at Chicago grad student union pushes sellout contract

By Andy Thompson, 8 April 2019

Teaching assistants should reject the deal being pushed by the Graduate Employees Organization and its parent unions and spearhead a fight against the Democrats’ austerity measures.

“Music is too powerful to be silenced by tyranny”

Chicago symphony musicians host packed concerts as strike reaches turning point

By George Marlowe, 6 April 2019

Musicians in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have continued to host successful, packed concerts as their strike enters its fourth week.

Lori Lightfoot defeats Toni Preckwinkle in low-turnout Chicago election

By Kristina Betinis and Patrick Martin, 4 April 2019

The voter turnout may be the lowest of any contested Chicago mayoral election.

Chicago mayoral run-off: The cost-cutter or the cop?

By Kristina Betinis, 29 March 2019

Two Democratic candidates, Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot, are locked in a bitter fight for the mayor’s office.

“Music is the language of the world”

Striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians hold successful free concerts

By George Marlowe and Michael Walters, 29 March 2019

CSO musicians in the third week of their strike have won widespread public support, including for their defiant free concerts.

“There is widespread interest in classical music."

Musicians, youth and workers speak in support of Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike

By Benjamin Mateus and George Marlowe, 29 March 2019

Striking CSO musicians and young people spoke out about the fight and the importance of the defense of arts, music and culture.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike nears end of first week

By Michael Walters and Kristina Betinis, 15 March 2019

Pensions have emerged as a major issue in the dispute that has pitted musicians at one of the top orchestras in the world against wealthy corporate donors.

“This is not just about Tchaikovsky, it’s about culture as a whole”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians strike to defend pensions

By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2019

CSO players and supporters demand funding for the arts, not wars.

Bernie Sanders adapts to racial politics at Chicago campaign rally

By George Gallanis, 5 March 2019

Sanders’ speech in Chicago used his experiences in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, while a student at the University of Chicago, to make an appeal to identity politics.

Near-record low turnout in first round of Chicago municipal election

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 March 2019

Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Democratic Party boss Toni Preckwinkle will face each other in the April 2 run-off.

Widespread popular disgust with Chicago council elections

By Kristina Betinis, 25 February 2019

Fourteen candidates vie for mayor today, while as many as one-third of the city council may be ousted.

Chicago municipal primary elections to take place Tuesday

By Kristina Betinis, 25 February 2019

Widespread disgust with both parties prevails as fourteen candidates vie for mayor and as much as one-third of the city council may be ousted in the third-largest US city.

Chicago Teachers Union shuts down strike at CICS charter schools

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 February 2019

Despite hailing it as yet another “victory,” the union agreed to a deal that leaves conditions and teacher compensation at charter schools well below traditional public schools.

Chicago charter teachers strike enters second week

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2019

Charter school teachers are fighting for decent wages and smaller class sizes, but the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is looking to expands its franchise into the charter business.

Chicago Fire Department cites open flame as cause of Little Village fire that killed 10 children

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 February 2019

Nearly five months after the fire, investigators are unable to determine if the cause of the fire was arson or an accident, or even the source of the blaze.

Teachers at four Chicago charter school campuses walk out

By Kristina Betinis, 6 February 2019

In the second-ever strike to hit charter schools, 175 teachers and staff at four Chicago International Charter School campuses walked out Tuesday over pay and conditions.

48-year-old teacher perishes in house fire on Chicago’s southwest side

By Kristina Betinis, 6 February 2019

Kathleen Gomez was mourned by family and friends at her home on Tuesday evening.

City Colleges of Chicago averts staff and faculty strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 31 January 2019

Just days after the setting of a February 4 strike date, the Cook County College Teachers Union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that a tentative agreement had been reached.

“The union sold us out”

Chicago UPS drivers angered by Teamsters sellout contract

By George Marlowe, 25 January 2019

UPS drivers and warehouse workers in Chicago are opposed to the pro-company contracts imposed by the Teamsters across the country and are looking to mount a fight.

Chicago police officer sentenced to less than seven years for murder of Laquan McDonald; three officers acquitted in cover-up

By Michael Walters, 21 January 2019

Jason Van Dyke was convicted in October 2018 of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for every bullet he unloaded into McDonald’s body.

“We’re the ones doing the work, moving the packages and moving the world”

Rockford, Illinois UPS workers outraged by sellout Teamsters contract

By George Marlowe, 21 January 2019

UPS workers in the economically depressed midwestern city of Rockford, Illinois, have spoken out against the UPS-Teamsters contract.

Longest-serving Chicago alderman charged with attempted extortion

By Kristina Betinis, 7 January 2019

Ed Burke, who has spent more than 50 years in Chicago Democratic Party politics, faces federal corruption charges.

Chicago ZF chassis plant to close, lay off 261 workers

By George Gallanis, 29 December 2018

The UAW has remained silent on the job cuts announced by the German-based auto parts company at its Chicago plant.

Teamsters union releases new sellout contracts for 15,000 Midwest UPS workers

By George Marlowe, 28 December 2018

The planned sellouts in Chicago and across three US states are all the more significant because of the central role played by the Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

Union isolates Cambria hotel workers in Chicago as British Columbia and Los Angeles hotel employees protest

By Michael Walters, 15 December 2018

Hotel workers have been on strike for three months at the Cambria Hotel in Chicago under conditions where the UNITE HERE union has systemically shut down hotel strikes nationally.

Chicago teacher union shuts down charter school strike, holds rally for Democratic candidates

By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 11 December 2018

Union officials showered Democrats with praise while offering no concrete details of the agreement to charter school teachers or when they could vote on the deal.

Another house fire erupts in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood

By Benjamin Mateus and Jessica Goldstein, 10 December 2018

The fire, which displaced several families, came less than four months after a house fire in the same area claimed the lives of ten children.

Chicago charter teacher strike continues, as unions announce backing for Democratic machine politician

By Kristina Betinis, 7 December 2018

Acero teachers determined to improve conditions are being isolated from other schools even as the unions use their strike as the backdrop for their political maneuvers.

“Multiple families have been displaced and the city and government, no one has done a damn thing for them”

Three months after Chicago house fire that killed ten children

By George Gallanis and Benjamin Mateus, 7 December 2018

The cause of the fire in the working class Little Village neighborhood remains unknown as victims of the fire struggle to move on.

Democrats, union tops seek to isolate Chicago charter teachers’ strike

By Kristina Betinis, 6 December 2018

Hours after staging a photo op at a Tuesday teachers’ rally, Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle announced her education platform.

At Chicago Mayoral Forum

Unions promote corporate Democrats to succeed Rahm Emanuel

By Kristina Betinis, 27 November 2018

The Chicago Teachers Union sponsored the first major event of the city’s mayoral election campaign, hosting five right-wing Democratic Party candidates, one of them an open opponent of public education.

Growing interest in socialism at Chicago meeting on 80th anniversary of Fourth International

By the IYSSE at University of Illinois at Chicago, 14 November 2018

David North spoke to youth and workers on the need to assimilate the lessons of the 20th century to build a movement for socialism today.

Chicago charter school teachers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

By Kristina Betinis, 5 November 2018

Charter school teachers are determined to improve pay and classroom conditions, but they cannot advance their fight through the Chicago Teachers Union.

Chicago Teamsters local announces end to UPS contract extension

By George Marlowe, 2 November 2018

The union is seeking to reach a concessions contract with management while preventing a rebellion among rank-and-file workers.

Fiat Chrysler workers hit with temporary layoffs across North America

By Jacob Crosse, 1 November 2018

FCA workers in Windsor, Canada, and factories in Illinois and Indiana are on temporary layoff due to falling sales.

Chicago Lyric Opera musicians’ strike ends with concessions deal

By Brian Brown and Jeff Lusanne, 23 October 2018

Chicago’s Lyric Opera attempted to make drastic cuts to its orchestra, and managed to push through several of its demands despite a five-day strike by orchestra musicians.

Chicago cop cleared in the 2012 killing of 15-year-old Dakota Bright

By Benjamin Mateus, 15 October 2018

The decision means that Brandon Ternand will not face any discipline for the murder and will be reinstated to active duty with back pay.

“We are just new slaves”

1,500 Boston hotel workers walk out as UNITE HERE seeks to end Chicago strike

By George Marlowe, 4 October 2018

From the start of the strike in Chicago, the UNITE HERE union has sought to isolate workers by signing piecemeal deals with one hotel chain after another.

Trial underway in Chicago police murder of Laquan McDonald

By Kristina Betinis and George Gallanis, 27 September 2018

The defense team is relying on allegations that McDonald was a “combative” person to convince the jury he posed a threat and deserved to be killed.

“We have to join our struggles together”

Chicago Ford autoworkers support hotel workers on strike

By George Marlowe and Marcus Day, 18 September 2018

Workers at the Chicago Ford Assembly Plant spoke out in support of striking hotel workers and the common struggles all workers face.

“All the hotel workers should go on strike”

Chicago hotel workers continue walkout as workers throughout the US vote to strike

By George Marlowe and George Gallanis, 17 September 2018

Hotel workers in Chicago continue to fight for year-round healthcare and higher wages, even as the union keeps them isolated from hotel workers' struggles across the country.

Residents of Chicago’s Little Village speak out against increasing poverty and unaffordable housing

By our reporters, 17 September 2018

Three weeks after a deadly house fire killed 10 children on Chicago’s west side, residents still have no answers as to its causes, or resources to help them recover.

“This should be a mass movement if we want to get what we want”

Chicago hotel workers’ strike continues for eighth day

By our reporting team, 14 September 2018

WSWS reporters visited and spoke to picketing workers at the JW Marriott Chicago hotel and Palmer House hotel in Chicago’s downtown.

Chicago hotel workers’ strike enters fourth day

By Marcus Day, 10 September 2018

Thousands of hotel workers have struck at 25 locations in and around downtown Chicago since Friday, fighting for better health care and wages.

“Capitalism is not working, and it never has for us”

Striking Chicago hotel workers speak out on fight for wages, health care

By our reporters, 10 September 2018

The WSWS spoke to striking hotel workers on the picket lines in downtown Chicago Saturday.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces he will not seek reelection

By Kristina Betinis, 7 September 2018

On the eve of the trial of the Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald, the mayor, who oversaw a cover-up of the teen’s murder, announced that he would not seek a third term.

“This is a class issue, and it’s a social issue”

Memorial service held for six of ten children killed in Chicago Little Village house fire

By our reporters, 3 September 2018

About 200 people attended the funeral, with many traveling long distances from throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Media smears family of victims of Chicago house fire

By George Marlowe, 3 September 2018

The press continues to demonize the victims of the Chicago house fire in the Little Village neighborhood, deflecting blame from the political establishment.

“Everything started failing for us”

An interview with a relative of Chicago house fire victim

By George Gallanis, 31 August 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to the great-aunt of 16-year-old Victor Mendoza, one of 10 children killed in Sunday’s deadly blaze in Little Village.

“The politicians want to sweep this under the rug”

Hundreds gather to commemorate ten children killed in Chicago house fire

By George Marlowe and George Gallanis, 29 August 2018

While hundreds went to a vigil to commemorate and mourn the death of the ten children lost to the house fire Sunday morning, Chicago’s Democratic mayor and city aldermen declined to attend.

Eight children killed in house fire on Chicago’s West Side

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 August 2018

According to the fire department, if working smoke detectors had been in place, the victims would have been woken by the alarms and could have all escaped to safety.

As protests continue, Chicago police release footage of Harith Augustus’ murder

By our reporters, 17 July 2018

The footage was released very quickly, against official protocol, as the city attempts to defuse popular anger over the shooting and police aggression towards protesters.

Protesters clash with Chicago police after police murder of Harith Augustus

By Benjamin Mateus and Kristina Betinis, 16 July 2018

Simmering anger over police violence led to protests after police harassed a local barber and shot him in the back as he tried to flee.

Northwestern University roundtable discusses regime change in Russia

By Marcus Day and Kristina Betinis, 25 May 2018

The Buffet Institute of Global Studies’ main speaker was Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, president of the Brookings Institution and architect of US imperialist strategy.

Three Chicago Transit Authority workers injured in subway electrical explosion

By Michael Walters, 8 May 2018

Despite the seriousness of the incident, few details have been made public by the unions and the CTA or reported on by the press.

CIA expands its Signature School program to University of Illinois Chicago

By George Gallanis and Kristina Betinis, 4 May 2018

The program permits the CIA to have a regular recruiting presence on the university’s Chicago campus.

Black Lives Matter, ACLU stay lawsuits, promote Chicago police “reform”

By Jessica Goldstein and George Marlowe, 25 April 2018

The involvement of BLM in the CPD consent decree is intended to provide further cover for police and the political establishment while giving middle class activists a “piece of the action.”

University of Chicago student with mental illness shot by campus police

By George Marlowe, 6 April 2018

Suffering from a severe mental breakdown, Charles Thomas was shot and wounded by campus police Tuesday night. He now faces criminal charges.

Loyola Chicago adjunct faculty hold one-day strike

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 April 2018

The 350 liberal arts and other faculty were joined by several hundred students, alumni and other supporters.

ICE arrests wrongly convicted Chicago man released after 20 years in prison

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 31 March 2018

Ricardo Rodriguez, wrongfully convicted for the 1995 murder of a homeless man, was finally freed after 20 years behind bars, only to be immediately taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“No more wars, no more violence!”

Over 80,000 youth and students in Chicago protest against mass violence

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 26 March 2018

The March for Our Lives demonstration in Chicago was one of the largest in the city’s history and demonstrates a growing radicalization and movement to the left by youth and students.

Union betrays graduate workers’ strike at University of Illinois

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2018

Having demobilized students and pushed through a sellout deal, the Graduate Employees Organization is promoting impotent appeals to university officials.

“I think they should keep striking”

Chicago Ford workers speak out in support of West Virginia teachers

By George Marlowe and Andy Thompson, 6 March 2018

Chicago autoworkers expressed their support for the West Virginia teachers on strike and denounced the conditions they face.

Chicago public school teachers vote to approve merger with charter teachers union

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2018

The merger between the two AFT locals was rejected by nearly one-third of those who voted, based on the Chicago Teachers Union’s complicity with Mayor Emanuel’s school privatization efforts.