“A Sea of Red”: A Néw Model of Unionism

Diane Ravitch's blog

In September 2012, the Chicago Teachets Union went out on strike to protest the conditions of teaching And learning in the schools. Surprisingly, the strike was supported by parents, who understood that the teachers were fighting for their children. More than 90% of CTU’s members supported the strike, outwitting the pernicious efforts by Jonah Edelman and Stand for Children to make a strike impossible by persuading the legislature to raise the threshold to 75% of members.

In this report, CTU explains its paradigm of unionism as “social organizing,” and contrasts it to an older, less valuable approach which it calls “service-model unionism:”

Here is an excerpt:

“The social-organizing model of unionism adopted by the CTU in the run up to the strike of 2012 played a crucial role in the success of the labor action.

“Broadly speaking there are two different types or poles of unionism operating in the…

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