National labor chief: “the teachers of Chicago feel deeply disrespected.”

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Illinois delegates gathered at a breakfast meeting Tuesday morning– the first day of the Democratic National Convention — to rally behind President Obama, but it didn’t take long for reality from Chicago to come up.

National president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, raised the issue of the discord brewing between the Chicago Teachers’ Union and the city. Weingarten though, didn’t mention the word “strike.” Neither did Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers didn’t speak that word either, but both talked about settling the matter.

“We need to find common ground. We are Democrats, we are people who know how to build,” Weingarten said. “We also know … the teachers of Chicago feel deeply disrespected…and that’s what the struggle is about… I know the struggle can be settled and I know we can move forward, and as Democrats we can do that.”

Montgomery said if labor gets its way, everyone will benefit.

“You’ll see smaller class sizes and better learning conditions, something we all want for our kids,” he said.

“What does labor want? I would like more support for Labor from the Democratic party.”

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