March and rally set for Monday to protest CTA cuts and layoffs

Members of various community organizations and CTA unions will protest the Feb. 7 CTA service cuts Monday with a march from CTA headquarters starting at 11 am. Protesters will march to the Thompson Center for a rally.

Below is copied from the rally Web site.

On the day we honor MLK Jr.'s birthday, we will be joining many organizations and individuals to march to save jobs and stop budget cuts. Over 1,000 bus drivers are being threatened with layoffs. CTA service cuts will affect 18 percent of bus service and 9 percent of train service, mostly in working and poor communities. The criminal CTA cuts and layoffs are scheduled to take effect on Feb. 7, 2010.

The Chicago Public Schools are planning to close another 25 to 30 schools.

All over the country, workers continue to face mass unemployment, severe budget cuts to education, the lose of health care, mounting foreclosures and much more. In Chicago, the official unemployment rate is over 10 percent and over 15 percent for African Americans.

Funding for badly needed state and local agencies and programs are under a merciless attack at the same time trillions of dollars are being spent on endless war and Wall Street bail outs. Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn have recently handed out billions of dollars to Morgan Stanley, United Airlines, UPS, big real estate developers and more.

It's time to fight back, stand together and demand money for jobs, transit, education, health care and more. Take to the streets with us on January 18. An injury to one is an injury to all!

The Jan. 18 protest is initiated by Public Workers Unite! and endorsed by AFCME Local 2858, ANSWER Chicago, Caucus of Rank File Educators - CORE, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, Chicago GMB - IWW, Citizens Taking Action, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Gay Liberation Network, Illlinois Healthy Workplace Advocates/Workplace Bullying Institute, Illinois Single Payer Coalition, International Socialist Organization, League for the Revolutionary Party, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, News and Letters Committees, NoCTAcuts.org, Northside Action for Justice, Party for Socialism and LIberation, Socialist Alternative, Solidarity, UIC-GEO, UP Movement, Veterans for Peace-Chicago, Vietnam Veterans Against the War-Chicago. Please endorse this important action now by calling 773-463-0311.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • Is there any way to participate only protesting the service cuts and not the layoffs?

  • In reply to aczysz:

    I agree!
    Schools are being closed due to reduced enrollment. It has nothing to do with the CTA & its problems!

  • In reply to aczysz:

    So they're protesting everything they don't like about Chicago right now? Not a very good plan to be coherent or heard. Anyway, what will a protest do? If they have a better plan or can force legislators to care, then that's what they should be focusing on.

  • In reply to theloosh:

    Doing a quick search for "CTA" "march" and "protest" on chicagotribune.com indicates that these people didn't get any publicity, while the "I'm with Coco" protest did. Too bad, so sad.

    In light of the prior debate over the funding formula, here's something they might (although probably financially unable) to do: Buy something big in Chicago. Buy out Macy's inventory of size 11 boots, or buy a car, and let the RTA collect some sales tax. Buy a house in Chicago today and the CTA gets some real estate transfer tax.

    As the loosh indicated, unless someone comes up with real money, the protest was meaningless. In the publicity sense, it was meaningless already.

  • In reply to jack:

    I was struck by the same fact Jack. Though they got coverage on local TV news - I think it was Channel 7. Of course Channel 5 covered the Conan rally.

  • In reply to aczysz:

    I'm with Andy! I don't really care about the layoffs, the union was unwilling to negotiate, so they can deal with their own medicine. It is the service cuts which bother me.

  • In reply to honest86:

    So in your world, if service isn't cut but layoffs occur, do you drive all the buses?

  • In reply to aczysz:

    You can't really separate the service cuts from the layoffs. There are service cuts because is not enough projected revenue for this year. The way to save money is to cut wage expense. The service cuts mean 1,000 fewer drivers and motormen are needed.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Sure you could separate them. The union could share the pain by agreeing to furloughs. But since they won't, 1000 of their "brethren" get laid off.

  • In reply to aczysz:

    I agree that one cannot (and should not) separate service cuts and layoffs. To claim that there simply isn't enough money not to have cuts AND layoffs is false. The misallocation of funds by Daley & Co. notwithstanding, we have recently seen that when large financial institutions (no matter how irresponsible or risky their behaviors) are in trouble, there are billions of dollars ready to be mobilized at the drop of the hat.

    This is entirely a question of priorities.

    For the big guys upstairs, there are billions of dollars forthcoming in the form of bailouts from the federal government. But when things that matter, such as public transportation, libraries, schools and so on are in need of funds, no bailouts are forthcoming. IL taxpayers contributed over 56 billion in taxes last year that were allocated to fund irresponsible military ventures abroad. Just imagine for one moment what else we, as a state, as a city, could have spent that money on.

    Blaming the union here belies deep ignorance of the situation here. The union, like every working person in America, merely wants job security, benefits and fair wages for its members. There's no reason why we should further enlarge the ranks of the unemployed here when the funds exist to provide for full employment and a world-class public transit system.

  • I agree, Ed, that the last the thing that this Country, this State and this City should be doing is allowing public transportation to wither on the vine. I am also car-free in chicago and would not have it any other way.

    But I think in focusing on the free rides for seniors program, you may be missing the mark. True, this program costs money, but this isn't the whole story. The amount that Daley has squandered in give-aways, lost revenues for privatizations, tifs, etc. is astounding. This is not a question of whether there are funds; this is entirely a question of spending priorities.

    CTA is facing tough finanncial times. But the answer isn't to hammer away at workers and seniors. After all, it's not as though the management of CTA, high-paid city officials, and Daley and Company are offering to re-open their contracts and enter into salary negotiations that would lower their take-home pay. This is out of the question, of course. But when it comes to less powerful groups such as bus drivers, mechanics, and seniors, the media (this blog included) seem content to advocate austerity and tough love for ordinary workers and seniors.

    The message I get from The Trib and this blog is clear: uncompromising big rewards for management, bureaucrats and Daley's coterie of officials is a good thing... but reasonable pay and access to essential services for ordinary chicagoans is a travesty.

    Fare hikes are equivalent to a regressive tax. If we want to collect more money from chicagoans, the way to do it is via a progressive tax: i.e. one that is graduated such that people pay according to their means, not according to a fixed rate that is pennies to the rich, but punishing for the majority of ordinary chicagoans.

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