“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”
—-Calvin Coolidge, then Governor of Massachusetts, soon to be Vice-President and later President upon the death of Warren G. Harding, in a September 14, 1919 telegram to labor leader Samuel Gompers on the occasion of the Boston police department strike.
The Boston police were fired for extorting the city, and Coolidge’s words were in the air when President Ronald Reagan responded to an illegal strike by air traffic controllers by firing the strikers and banning the union.
Now Chicago’s teachers are striking, not against the city management that is denying their demands, but against the children of the city and their families.
What would silent Cal say? I think I can guess. Harming children and families for higher wages is as much extortion as leaving a city unprotected against crime, and cannot be defended ethically. The defense will be, inevitably, “Well, management is unfair, and their offer is unjust. What are we supposed to do?”
The answer is: something else.
Facts: Chicago Tribune
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