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Poor working conditions continue as companies continue to profit off the lie of corporate support of “essential” workers. Educators can relate.

CHICAGO, October 14, 2021The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in solidarity with entertainment workers, and workers at Kellogg and John Deere, all of whom are battling for better working conditions and fair, living-wage compensation:

Frontline workers, from people who package our breakfast cereal to those who make the equipment that builds our roads, have risked their lives to keep their corporations afloat through the pandemic. Now, workers at giant corporations that include Kellogg, John Deere and major film and television studios, are demanding more than just lip service for their sacrifices, just as educators in Chicago and across the nation are demanding more from their school districts when it comes to safety and support.

At Kellogg, workers in the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union have vowed to stay out “one day longer” than the boss in their strike for fair wages and benefits, and reasonable working conditions. At John Deere, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union overwhelmingly rejected a substandard offer from the company that would have included income inequality. And in the entertainment industry, members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) — from cinematographers and camera operators, to carpenters and makeup artists — want an end to excessive hours, exhausting back-to-back shifts and compensation for some crafts that is literally impossible to live on.

Each of these struggles remind us of 2012, 2016 and 2019, when we took collective action for the schools and the city our students and their families deserve. What unites us all is a basic demand for fairness. Labor provides the profit that these companies’ shareholders live off of, just as our school district operates on the backs of the labor of teachers, PSRPs, clinicians, counselors and librarians. Yet the corporate strategy of all of our bosses is to demand more of workers in exchange for as little regard as possible.

Our sisters and brothers in the BCTGM, UAW and IATSE are fed up with this exploitation and indifference from management, especially at a time of record revenue for so many of the corporations and businesses that have provoked job action. Their struggle is our struggle —the struggle for basic rights, living wages, health care that sustains our families, and workplaces that are safe and responsibly run,

We stand in solidarity with our fellow workers at Kellogg, Deere, in the entertainment industry and beyond in their battle to force their bosses to share profit with the very workers who create this profit. And we join them in the larger struggle to lift up and support all rank-and-file workers in our country and elsewhere, who all deserve economic justice and freedom.