by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
Chicago Teachers Strike Roundup
Some of the best reporting and commentary on the Chicago teachers strike:
- "Why I'm Striking," by Teacher X, a Chicago public school teacher, who notes the irony of saying that it's just fine for kids to lose 18-25 days out of every school year for unproven standardized testing, but not a few days for a strike.
- Brian Jones salutes the striking teachers in the New York Times' "Room for Debate" section.
- Corey Robin on "Liberals Who Hate Teachers Unions" in Jacobin Magazine.
- "Chicago Teachers Push Back Against Neo-Liberal Education Reform," by Matthew Cunningham-Cook in The Nation.
- Dana Goldstein on the history of teachers unions as a women-led labor movement.
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced to officially deny Nickleback fandom after a 10th grade math teacher, Mike Konkoleski, walked the picket line with a sign alleging "Rahm Emanuel Likes Nickleback."