The Spark

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

Chicago:
City prepares to privatize Midway Airport

Mar 13, 2006

The city of Chicago is laying the basis to privatize Midway Airport – with the help of the Illinois legislature. The State Senate unanimously passed a bill opening the way for private companies to run the airport.

It’s not the first privatization at airports. Chicago has slowly been privatizing airport work over the years. It turned the work of plumbers, custodians, window cleaners and parking garage workers over to private contractors. The privatization of Midway only finishes this stage. And next in the city’s aim is the much bigger O’Hare Airport, with more than 1,000 city workers’ jobs at risk.

Mayor Daley has enthusiastically pushed privatization of all kinds of city services, such as repairs and construction of pavements and curbs, and custodial work in city offices. The mayor says he saved the taxpayers money.

It’s not true. Yes, the wages are reduced, but the private companies now get their profits from those lower wages. The city pays out the same amount of money – or more! No wonder these companies often contribute generously to the mayor’s campaign coffers.

Chicago was long called the “city that works.” It’s increasingly “working” to enrich private owners profiting off of public services, while impoverishing the workers who do the real work.