On April 24th two groups of young people met up on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and it wasn’t for the shopping. One group was striking retail and fast food workers who had walked off the job to protest low wages and demand a $15 minimum wage for downtown workers. The other group was students protesting Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s school closings. Many of the striking workers were only a few years older than the students. Inequitable education policies like those of the Chicago Public Schools fall most heavily on low-income communities. The experience of dictates from above disrupting neighborhoods—closing schools, firing school staff, reducing education to performance on high stakes testing–with no voice from those affected doesn’t produce schools encourage low-income students to assert themselves and demand a better life for themselves and their families. Last Wednesday the youth of Chicago taught us what we should already know, the economy is not working for most people in the U.S.
The Chicago Political Economy Group is among a huge number of organizations supporting and endorsing the upcoming Global Teach-In, an event being held simultaneously in seven countries around the world, in an effort to build a new global economy for the 99%.
The Chicago Teach-In will take place from 11am, to 3pm on April 25th at Columbia College, 600 S Michigan, in room 101 at Ferguson Lecture Hall. The event will feature key speakers from around the world and will focus on three major principles; creating global democracy networks, green jobs and planning, and building a new financial system that benefits the 99%.
For more information visit globalteachin.com.
The Chicago Political Economy Group, along with other Chicago Academics and Unite Here! Local 1, recently collaborated on a cost-benefit analysis of a proposed Chicago Ordinance that would ensure airport concessions workers at O’Hare and Midway International Airports are paid at least the Chicago Living Wage ($11.18) that the City requires of other contractors.
The study estimates that 1,600 of the 2,400 concessions workers at the two Chicago airports would increase their wages an average of approximately $2 an hour. This would be an increase in annual income of about $4,000 per full-time worker covered, from roughly $18,000 to $22,000 a year.
View the Study