Send a Letter to Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Claypool: No Rates Hikes!

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Take Action Now to Stop the 2013 CTA Rate Hikes
Say No to the Mayor's Assault on Working and Poor People!

(1) Send a Letter Now to Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Forest Claypool: We Demand No Rate Hikes!
(2) Join the December 10 Protest to Stop the Rate Hikes

Now is the time. If we act together, we can stop the fare increases in their tracks. CTA riders and their allies didn't cause the "budget crisis." Workers and the poor shouldn't have to pay for it.

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor 1%, is at again. Attacking workers and the poor. His administration is planning to raise 2013 rates on CTA passes by as much as 74%!

Under the proposal, drafted by CTA President Forest Claypool, CTA passes will go up by ... 74% for the day pass (new price: $10); 43% for the 3-day pass ($20); 22% for the 7-day pass ($28); and 16% for the 30-day pass ($100). The day pass and 3-day pass, which are used by the poorest riders, are set to increase the most!

With extreme arrogance, the Mayor said that if people don't like the fare hikes they can "choose to drive." Really?

More than 29% of people in Chicago do not own cars. Due to the economic hardships imposed on workers by the "Great Recession" and rising prices, train ridership increased by 6% in 2011 and is at its highest point since 1991--all despite drastic cuts to CTA routes in recent years. The percentage of CTA riders that use passes: 55%.

People who buy CTA passes do so because they rely on public transit. Emanuel's suggestion that people can "choose to drive" is not just out of touch, it's downright vindictive.

What does this all really add up to? It all adds up to the simple fact that Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Claypool want to force people who can't afford the rate hikes and have no other transportation options to either walk, starve or stop paying their bills so they have the money to pay for transit. The Mayor's administration is reaching into the pockets of those who can least afford an increase in their regular expenses.

The CTA Budget Crisis is a Scam

At the same time we are being asked to pay more for public services, 66 percent of corporations that do business in Illinois pay no taxes. City Hall and Springfield hand out money to Wall Street without even blinking. They handed over the streets to Morgan Stanley when they sold the parking meters. They want to hand over our schools to McDonald's, Wal-Mart and Microsoft.

The truth: There's no need to raise CTA rates. In December 2011, the state legislature, which is ultimately responsible for funding the CTA, passed $370 million in tax breaks for Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange because they threatened to leave the city and the state. The legislature said the tax breaks would save jobs. What did Sears do after the legislature forked over the money? They turned around and laid off hundreds of workers.

Instead of paying extortion to wealthy corporations and individuals, money should be used to fund the CTA and other public services, including public education. The Sears/CME scam is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate welfare.

There is more than enough money to fund transit for workers and the poor. Illinois is a wealthy state in the wealthiest country in the world. Government budget crises are the result of tax breaks for the rich, government handouts to the corporations and the weight of mandatory interest payments that governments make to the Big Banks.

The CTA "budget crisis" is a big lie being promoted as reality--all so that the 1% can use the very real economic crisis of capitalism to escalate the largest ever transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top of society.

ANSWER Chicago and are encouraging people to use a variety of strategies to resist the fare hikes. We will be assembling before the CTA budget hearing on Monday, Dec. 10 at 5 pm outside CTA headquarters (567 W. Lake St.) to protest the proposed rate hikes. The budget hearing begins at 6 pm.

You should join us on the streets to stop the fare hikes.
Protest to Stop CTA Rate Hikes
Monday, Dec. 10, 5 pm

CTA Headquarters
567 W. Lake (Corner of Clinton)
Info: 773-463-0311

We will be gathering before the CTA budget hearing, which is scheduled for 6 pm. Bring your signs, banners and voices of protest.

Stop the CTA rate hikes!
Stop the mayor's assault on working and poor people!

National Day of Action
to Defend Public Transit!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 6 pm
In Chicago: Protest at CTA Headquarters (567 W. Lake)
Directions (Green Line - Clinton Stop)
Info: 773-463-0311
Occupy Chicago Facebook Event

Riders and Transit Workers Stand Together and Organize to Defend Transit Funding and Workers Rights!
No Transit Cuts:  Make the Billionaires and Banks Pay Up! Money for Transit, Not War!

The April 4 National Day of Action for Public Transportation was initiated by Occupy Boston and is supported by the Amalgamated Transit Union International ( Actions are taking place in over 18 cities. In Chicago, ATU Local 241 is supporting the action along with Occupy Chicago, ANSWER Chicago, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and

Across the nation and in Chicago, transit funding and transit unions are under attack. The Emanuel administration's most recent attack against transit came in the form of a threat against workers. Outrageously, the city wants to eliminate work safety rules that save lives. The fat cats who run city hall also want to take $230 million out of the workers pockets over the next two years--all while the city continues to dole out huge tax breaks and subsidies to billionaire corporations like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Boeing and United Airlines.

Let's Fight Back: ANSWER Chicago urges everyone who can to join this very important action to save public transit and defend transit workers.

Chicago workers hit streets to march for jobs

The time to stop the layoffs and budget cuts is now!

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Chicago on Jan. 18 to stop job, school, transit and budget cuts. Transit workers, teachers, students and community organizations joined together in a militant protest to fight against these attacks on working-class people.

Chicago CTA rally 01-18-10
Chicago residents take to the streets to fight back
against the severe budget cuts targeting public
transit, schools and other services.

The march started at the Chicago Transit Authority headquarters and made stops at Boeing, the Chicago Board of Education and Chase Bank. The most popular chant was, “Money for Jobs, not for the Banks!”

The CTA is threatening to layoff over 1,067 union bus drivers and mechanics and slash bus and train service in poor and working-class neighborhoods around the city.

The Chicago Public School District has announced the closure of 14 schools—yet another round in the city’s ongoing drive to privatize education and attack the teachers’ union.

On Jan. 20, approximately 150 bus drivers and community supporters protested and rallied outside the headquarters of the CTA to oppose the planned service cuts and layoffs.

Despite the cold weather, protesters carried placards demanding “No service cuts!” and “No job cuts!” while chanting for over two hours. Protesters chanted “They say cut back, we say fight back!” and “No cuts! No layoffs!”

The proposed CTA cuts and layoffs are scheduled to take effect on Feb. 7. Approximately 1 million people ride CTA busses daily and the cuts would leave almost 190,000 people without bus service.

CTA board members, all appointees of Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn, have launched a public attack on the transit unions. They are arrogantly trying to paint the transit unions as the problem. CTA president Richard Rodriguez has gone as far as announcing that service cuts can be rolled back if the unions “grant concessions.” The CTA also sent out layoff notices to many workers in direct violation of the contract agreement.

City officials are planning to balance the transit budget on the backs of workers and riders while banks and Wall Street corporations that operate in Chicago are swimming in trillions of dollars of federal and local government aid.

This is a simple matter of justice during the worst economic crisis in generations: Not one single CTA, school or any workers should lose their jobs. Money can and must be immediately used to fund transit and create jobs. Funds should come from the big banks and corporations who fill their treasuries up every day with profits made directly from the labor of the city’s workers.

Workers and riders protest transit layoffs and cuts in Chicago

Fight back! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Holding their placards high, over 150 Chicago Transit Authority workers, riders and community supporters picketed and rallied on the morning of Dec. 9 outside a meeting of the CTA board. The majority of the workers present were union bus drivers who are locked in a struggle with the powers that be in the city to save their jobs.

CTA executives have sent pink slips to approximately 2,000 workers. Other CTA budget cuts will slash bus service by 18 percent and train service by 9 percent.

The determined crowd marched in sub-zero weather, demanding an end to service cuts and layoffs. "No service cuts!” and “Chop from the top!" were popular chants.

Carlos Acevedo of Local 241 of the Amalgamated Transit Union; Robert Kelly, president of ATU Local 308; and Heather Benno of spoke at a short rally at the end of the picket.

The criminal service cuts and layoffs are scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 7, 2010. CTA executives, who all make six-figure salaries and are appointees of Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn, are using the economic crisis as an excuse to wage a vicious assault on workers and transit riders.

To get involved in the struggle to stop the service cuts and layoffs, go to

Join the struggle to stop attacks on public transit and transit workers!

Working People of Chicago, Let's Stand Up and Fight Back ... !

On Nov. 12 The CTA board passed the 2010 budget. 1,100 transit jobs are on the chopping block. Drastic service cuts were approved, including an 18% cut in bus service and a 9% cut in train service.

The CTA, PACE and METRA are all claiming budget short falls for 2010. During the worst economic crisis in generations, they are threatening to raise fares, cut services, layoff workers and more. All while trillions of tax-payer dollars are spent on unpopular corporate handouts and bonuses and wars that benefit a tiny few.

When government agencies say that the only way we can maintain essential services like public transit is for us to pay more or for workers to get paid less or lose their jobs, they are lying. They're also acting in a deliberate and arrogant manner to attack social services and make working people bear the majority of the suffering during the economic crisis--all while we directly fund Wall Street's luxurious lifestyles.

If we stand together, we can stop the fare hikes, layoffs and cuts!
In attacking the transit unions, the CTA is trying to discourage a united fight back by dividing riders and transit workers. Free rides for seniors are not the problem, as many government and media talking heads are suggesting. Transit should and could be free, especially for older and retired workers. 

For the government, profits come before people and badly needed public services
. Mayor Daley did not hesitate to guarantee over $4 billion for the Olympics, sell the parking meters to Morgan Stanley and give United Airlines $50 million to move to the city. Against the will of the people, the federal government has bailed out the banks with over $17.8 trillion. (SEIU Bulletin, Sept. 2009) Yet unemployment and foreclosures continue to skyrocket. All across the country, social services are under the most cynical, viscous attack.

The CTA and other transit agencies could easily find the money to cover the $300 million so-called "budget gap." For example, Mayor Daley has $1 billion in his private TIF "slush fund" and millions more left over from the parking meter deal.

The Chicago economy produces massive sums of wealth. The 2008 GDP in Illinois was $637 billion, which would make Illinois the 18th richest country in the world! No one should have to go without a job, home, health care, a quality education or have services cut, even in the worst economic times. The transit rates should and can be decreased, not increased!

Let's work together and fight for funding for people's needs. Help build a movement to stop the transit budget cuts. People over profits. Join us in the struggle.

lSign the Online Petition Now!
I Demand ...
1) NO Transit Rate Hikes!
2) No Route Cancellations!
3) No Layoffs!



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