School strike first of many challenges for Emanuel
‘‘People have to come to the table and treat each other with respect,’’ said Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti.
Fioretti suggested the teacher strike could portend problems with firefighters and police contract talks, though those unions cannot legally strike. Police and fire contracts expired in June, and union leaders have indicated they intend to keep the talks out of the public eye.
‘‘I believe all negotiations should be done at the negotiation table,’’ said Thomas Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, who said issues include pay and response times. ‘‘We do not want to make this a public forum because I don’t think it helps either side.’’
Don Rose, a veteran City Hall observer and political analyst, said Chicago mayors have a long tradition of ‘‘giving away the store to unions,’’ but Emanuel has to be careful not to try to demonize organized labor.
The mayor has to ‘‘cool the anti-union stance and make it financial, make it about taxpayers because police have a lot of support and firefighters have lot of support, even though they can’t strike.’’
‘‘Things like this are not forgotten,’’ Rose said. But Emanuel is ‘‘not a stupid man. He obviously will know how to recalibrate.’’
Associated Press writers Hugh Dellios in Chicago and Karen Matthews in New York City contributed to this report.