The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

City workers protest against Mayor Daley

Dec 20, 2004

On Tuesday, December 14 about a thousand union activists demonstrated outside of Mayor Daley's downtown office. They objected to 18 months of negotiations for new contracts that haven't gone anywhere, the threat of no back pay, layoffs and the privatization of city jobs.

Different unions were involved in the protest. The building trades were there, especially the electricians and laborers. AFSCME (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees) and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) were also present.

For years the city unions were closely tied to Mayor Daley's father and then to the current mayor. A protest like this against the mayor simply didn't occur.

The protest was a start, but only a start. To force Daley to back off will require a continuation and increase of the mobilization against him. There are 30,000 city workers, all facing the same attacks. Together they have the possibility to make their weight felt.