Breaking: Federal judge sides with unions on Fair Share.

A federal judge in southern Illinois has issued a ruling favoring the unions who are trying to stop Governor Private Equity’s attack on Fair Share, also known as agency fees.

Governor Private Equity filed a preemptive federal lawsuit in Chicago.

The union’s position was that the issue did not belong in federal court. This afternoon the federal court agreed with the union side.

The rule of law is proving difficult for Governor Private Equity.

Here is the ruling.

Governor Private Equity learned from the master. Just say no.


– Posting from Brooklyn.

No politician has been better at brinksmanship and threatening Armageddon than Mayor Rahm.

Remember when he threatened to shutter 300 Chicago public schools? He ended up only closing 50 neighborhood schools.

Many of us took the position that every public school was our school. 

But some understandably focused on their own neighborhood school and breathed a sigh of relief when their school was taken off the list.

Fifty neighborhood public schools were closed by Mayor Rahm. Nobody had done that in the history of the United States. But compared to 300?

Most of us were not fooled by this tactic.

But some were.

A classic bargaining position.  Rahm is the master of threatening global nuclear war and then bargaining down from that.

Rahm went after city public employee pensions knowing full well that the Illinois Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on police power and the pension clause. He knows that it is quite likely the Court will rule against the state.

But this is his sick methodology. He is counting on using this bully tactic to get a favorable Plan B from the unions representing city employees after the court rules.

Governor Private Equity and Rahm are old friends. As my post yesterday shows, they share a wide network of wealthy contributors.

Excuse me if I am thinking that the doomsday budget that Rauner proposed this week wasn’t the work of someone who learned some of his bargaining techniques from the Rahm School of Screwing Working Families.

It is true that neither the union leadership nor Democrats in the General Assembly responded well to Governor Private Equity’s proposals.

Some of these Democrats have learned The Quinn Rule: There is a cost to pay for appearing to oppose the interests of working families, union members and labor in Illinois.

Surely Governor Private Equity knows that his austerity budget will not pass the General Assembly with the Democrats holding a veto proof majority.

He’s playing the Rahm game of threatening Armageddon. He calls it shaking up Springfield.

But beware of the compromise. What part of the austerity budget will Madigan, Cullerton and the Democrats agree to?

Starting next week our group of retired teachers will begin visiting legislators.

Our message will be that this austerity budget must be rejected in full.

No new attacks on pensions.

No cuts to education and public services.

No falling for Rauner’s Rahm-like threats of Armageddon.

When I was a teacher I bargained plenty of contracts. The most important thing I learned from those years of bargaining is the power of the word, NO.

Say yes and the bargaining is over. You get the what is on the table.

Say no and you get to fight another day.

Say no to any austerity budget.

Say no.

What was Rahm doing at the memorial honoring Pullman workers?


Rahm went after the Chicago Teachers Union in 2012. 

– Posting from Brooklyn.

President Obama came to Chicago to dedicate the Pullman national monument.

The monument is not there to honor capital’s robber barons of industry. It’s not there for George Pullman. It is there to honor its workers, labor unions, the African American union of sleeping car porters.

Much is being made of the fact that Governor Private Equity was kept off the stage when the President was signing the paper establishing the monument.

Capitolfax posted these tweets:

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Even Crain’s pro-business Greg Hinz was forced to admit that Governor Private Equity appears to be in the tradition of George Pullman.

Rauner acted like a rich guy protecting his class in one key area: While poor people and middle-class people and workers and transit riders and just about everyone else is being asked to take it in the ear in the name of “shared sacrifice,” people of means get off scot-free. In fact, they’re actually better off.

Yet everyone agrees that the timing of Obama’s trip to Chicago had more to do with saving Rahm Emanuel’s behind than honoring labor.


The very same mayor who used the most offensive gutter language to the country’s most beloved teacher union leader?

Also kept off the stage was Rahm’s primary opponent, Alderman Bob Fioretti.

Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd, questioned why he was not granted a ticket to attend the event, given his history as a past president and current member of the Historic Pullman Foundation board.

Considering the mutual contempt with which Governor Private Equity and Rahm hold unions, they both should have been kept behind the velvet ropes.

But honoring labor, unions and the Pullman porters wasn’t really what today was all about.