‘We’re militant again’: teachers at union convention galvanized by wave of strikes

Audience reacts to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her speech at the convention of the American Federation of Teachers on Friday, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Writing for the Guardian, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk filed a dispatch on the new energy in teachers’ unions:

“We are all militant again, we will all go to jail if we have to,” said Robert Russo, a teacher union leader from New Jersey who served 15 days in jail in 1970 for his role in an illegal teachers strike. “They are taking away rights, they are taking away everything we have worked for years and people are very invigorated.”

Despite school being out for the summer, teachers around the country aren’t taking a break. They are mobilizing support for more teachers strikes in states across the country including in Louisiana, where a survey of 3,800 teachers in May performed by the union showed that 61% of teachers supported a strike.

“Some of our local presidents were calling and saying they saw what was happening in West Virginia and Oklahoma and that they had been hearing in their locals that there were teachers and school employees seeing these strikes and becoming inspired,” says Larry Carter, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

For more, go to the Guardian. 

 

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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