Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Tuscaloosa in Chicago

We’ve come a long way from New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.

The landmark 1964 Supreme Court case outlined the rules of the game for newspapers, stating what they could print without being guilty of libel and subject to damages.

We’re reminded of the case today after the Chicago Tribune refused to run one of our Teachers Union Exposed ads because it had “racial undertones.” The ad features the image of Alabama Governor George Wallace’s infamous stand at the schoolhouse door, in which he refused to allow black students to register for classes at a segregated university. In the ad we said that “Someone New Is Blocking The School House Door: Teachers Unions.” It’s our response to the Chicago Teachers Union strike, which is stopping students of all races from going to school.

Take a look at the ad and see what you think.

Ironically, in the New York Times case, the Supreme Court decided that the newspaper was protected from liability for an ad it ran that was critical of Alabama officials and their actions against the civil rights movement.

But as Executive Director Rick Berman told the Weekly Standard, the Tribune is missing the point if it thinks this ad is about race.

While the photo depicts a terrible racist incident in American history, the message of the ad has nothing to do with race–only with the efforts of teachers unions to block students from getting a good education. An effort which is currently very much on display in Chicago.

As the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) continues to move back its estimates as to when students can get back into the classroom, it’s getting shielded from criticism in the media.

But it’s not only the picket lines that stop Chicago students from receiving a good education. Teachers unions bargain away qualityoppose meaningful teacher evaluations, and are against charter schools—all efforts to help students succeed.

CTU is trying hard to get what’s best for them, stopping students at the door. If that makes CTU’s strikers look like Governor Wallace, that’s their problem to deal with, and we won’t let the Chicago Tribune stop us from exposing them.

Categories: Center for Union FactsLegalTeachers Unions