About 40 customers, religious activists and teachers gather before a quiet demonstration in support of a living wage for Peet’s employees.
This afternoon at about 5:15 the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted to suspend their strike and move on to have the rank-and-file members go over and then vote on the agreement.
The members will vote on it at a later time.
The House of Delegates voted to suspend the strike by an overwhelming 98%. It was strong support for the democratic leadership of their union.
Most thought it was a win. Few of those I talked to were satisfied. None thought the strike should continue. All mistrust the Mayor. Most know that the fight doesn’t stop here.
There is time to analyze and debrief this historic 9 days.
There is a story inside a story I want to tell.
A wheel inside a wheel.
I had just left my house just as the news of the vote of the House of Delegates came over the radio.
I was on my way to Peet’s, a small chain of high quality coffee places with two locations here. One near Lincoln Park and one in Evanston.
The employees at the Lincoln Park location have formed a group called the Peet’s Workers Group for improving working conditions and negotiating a living wage.
Tonight they were meeting with management. Supporting the Peet’s Workers Group was a group of 40 customers, religious social justice activists and neighborhood school teachers.
We gathered outside the store with small signs of support that we held up and then taped to the windows while the meeting between employees and management went on inside.
Yep. School teachers from Lincoln Park High School, Franklin and Newberry elementary schools came over to support the Peet’s employees just minutes after their own strike had ended.
Exhausted by their 9 day strike and having to prepare for kids the next day, they still found time to express labor solidarity in this small way.
Ride the flaming circle.
Wind the golden reel.
Roll on, brother,
In the wheel inside the wheel.
– Jimmy Buffet