Strikes Becoming Fashionable

Nell Greaney


The Chicago Teachers Union Strike set the bar for other city unions that had been kicked around for too long. When the Chicago Teachers Union strike was finally settled, the battle ended with a few bruises, but needs were met. Let’s be honest, the kids were pleased as punch that they got a small extension on their summer, and probably hoped for the continuation of the strike like most kids call upon a higher power for that perpetual snow day.
Other unions took note of the teachers, and soon after followed suit. The Chicago Teachers union strike essentially set the fire for unions to stand up for their rights, and the city of Chicago has been a player in this fight. When Wisconsin’s public workers had their collective bargaining rights revoked the strike didn’t even matter. Even with union supporters converging on Wisconsin Governor Walker still held firm in his decision. In part thanks to this when Chicago teachers went on strike Wisconsin teachers joined in to show their support, emphasizing that collective bargaining will not be compromised this time around.
The NHL lockout is on a national level, but Chicagoans in particular are also affected. Blackhawk super fans still wait for their team to play as the players and the suits are still working on an agreement. Another case where Chicagoans were hit by a contract battle was the NFL Referees strike. This strike garnered a lot of attention, after college football refs filled in and didn’t make calls on illegal moves. Due to the ref’s lack of making calls, some players took advantage and got more aggressive. Quarter Back for the Houston Texans Matt Schaub was leveled by line backer Joe Mays from the Denver Bronco’s. Matt Schaub hit the ground with such a force, that it ejected his helmet, and the chin strap tore a piece of his ear. Fans of the NFL seemed to have skewed priorities since they griped about the ref’s missed calls, but never about the unnecessary injuries that were taking place. Although the lockout is in the past, it still acts as an example for how Chicagoans were hit by the over taking power of a contract battle.
Sports strikes are one thing, but the act of striking for what’s fair and just is the resounding theme. Sports lockouts are trivial compared to union worker strikes. There are plenty of hockey fans who were outraged with the state of the NHL, but Chicagoans can function without hockey. The spirit of going on strike resounds more intensely when it affects our daily priorities. What if crucial components of our city such as the garbage men or city workers went on strike? It doesn’t seem like any one is in a hurry to place priority on the things that really would disrupt our daily lives, or our quality of living.