AFL-CIO Weblog | A ‘Disposable Workforce’ in New Orleans After Katrina
The bottom line is that reactionary ideologues from the Bush administration, and some business and civic leaders in New Orleans, took the damage and dislocation caused by the hurricane as an opportunity to conduct a mass experiment in privatization and union busting, panelists said. Tracie Washington, CEO of the Louisiana Justice Institute, a civil rights law group, says that after Katrina, there was an
absolute assault on civil rights and social justice guarantees that we thought we had. There was a blatant assault on workers’ rights.
In quick succession, she says, the working people—mainly African Americans:—who were making a decent living were the first to go: All 4,900 teachers and thousands of bus drivers were laid off. That was followed by a decision not to rebuild much of the public housing destroyed by the storm and the slow reopening of the schools and the decimation of the public transportation system.
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