Tue, 31 Aug 1999
Dear Friends, The Detroit educator strike held firm today. Only 150
teachers, most of them new hires, crossed the picket lines, according to
the administration's own reports. Bargaining ended tonight at 10 pm, with
neither side reporting much progress. I interviewed one Takeover Board
member, and 4 members of a Takeover Board advisory group, this evening.
They made it clear that the union president, Elliot, is expected to regain
control over his membership, and get a contract passed before labor day.
Rank and file activist teachers in the Rouge Forum, and other groups in the
city, are organizing to deepen the power of the strike, to appeal to other
districts for help, and to organize freedom schools. Community centers in
the city remain open as the strike goes on. The mayor cut short his
vacation at Martha's Vineyard to return to give leadership to the
management side.

I have added material to the previous piece, and corrected some numerical
errors, and posted the analysis on my web page, click below.


Messages of solidarity to the teachers can be sent to the Rouge Forum at
the site above. We will post those messages on a special page for the

You can communicate with newspapers in the city electronically. Both city
newspapers, the Detroit News and the Free Press (sic) are scab papers and
subjects of a boycott, but striking press workers have agreed that the
papers can be read, for free, online. Note that all of the coverage from
these papers is, at best, second hand. They cannot get reporters into the
union meetings. Most strikers will not talk to them.

Both papers editorialized, in clear terms, against the strike today. The
Freep told DFT boss Elliot to take charge of his members and get on with
the business of school reform.

All the best, r

Comments or questions? Write to: rgibson@pipeline.com
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