The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Emanuel Turns His Sights on Chicago Transit Workers

Oct 17, 2011

Chicago transit workers are the latest to be in Rahm Emanuel’s crosshairs. Emanuel and his head of the Chicago Transit Agency, Forrest Claypool, claim that transit workers are the cause of the system’s deficit. Archaic union “work rules” are supposedly costing millions of dollars.

Calling it “coffee time,” Emanuel wants to get rid of the 15 minutes that train operators have to get things ready before they take their first train out. He doesn’t want customer service workers to have paid bathroom breaks, or drivers working long split shifts to have a shift differential for the second part of the shift.

The president of the Amalgamated Transit Union said: “I find it incredible that Rahm Emanuel, who personally made 18 million dollars in two years trading his influence in the industry that has brought our nation to financial collapse is now saying that people who work on the tracks and in buses and subways should not be allowed to go to the bathroom. Does Rahm take himself off the clock when he uses the urinal–or is he just using bus drivers and train workers as urinals?”

The local president said of Democrat Emanuel’s tactics: “If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was in Wisconsin dealing with a Republican governor.”

And that’s as true as can be because Democrat and Republican alike are busy trying to drive down wages and conditions of workers in every state in the country.