CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Transit Authority must allow workers to hand out leaflets in break rooms opposing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election bid, a federal judge ordered Thursday, concluding the union’s allegations that the agency undercut free-speech rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution are credible.
The temporary restraining order will remain in effect until after the April 7 runoff election, Judge Robert Dow said in an 18-page opinion. The CTA also can’t discipline or threaten to discipline employees for passing out the materials.
The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents more than 10,000 CTA bus and rail workers, asked for the order in a lawsuit filed this week in Chicago federal court. It argued the CTA permitted campaigning in break rooms for years and only prohibited the practice after the union endorsed Emanuel’s challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.