On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, announced that her office filed an unfair labor practices complaint after the city’s teachers union voted to switch to remote learning in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Lightfoot expressed to CBS Chicago that she hoped to come to some kind of an agreement at the bargaining table, not a courtroom. Still, she called the latest moves from the union an "illegal strike." The Chicago school system announced Wednesday that classes were canceled for a second-straight day and parents were—once again—given only a few hours’ notice that there were no classes, Fox 32 reported. "I will not allow them to take our children hostage," Lightfoot declared. "I will not allow them to compromise the future of this generation of CPS students. That is not going to happen." [tweet_embed] January 7, 2022[/tweet_embed] Jesse Sharkey, the Chicago Teachers Union President, criticized the mayor for threatening legal action. "If the mayor needs to drag us into court, you know, in order to try to force us to do what she wants, we’re going to go into court and point out that we’re doing what we think is necessary," he argued. The union contended the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable. Chicago has rejected a districtwide return to remote instruction, saying it was disastrous for children’s learning and mental health. [tweet_embed] January 7, 2022[/tweet_embed] District officials said schools would offer food service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and COVID-19 testing would continue as scheduled, while afterschool activities would be canceled. The district also provided a list of city sites with available daycare. Pedro Martinez, the Chicago Public Schools chief executive, called Tuesday’s vote for remote learning an "illegal strike." "Under state law, we are not authorized to go remote as a district," Martinez said, according to CBS Chicago. "We are not authorized." Even The White House on Wednesday maintained its support for keeping schools open across the nation as cases of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 continue to rise. [tweet_embed] January 7, 2022[/tweet_embed] On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki doubled down on the Biden Administration's efforts to aid schools in their plans to maintain in-person learning, as the Chicago Teachers Union voted late Tuesday to return to full-time remote learning amid the surge in COVID-19 cases. "The President is working, and we are all working, to keep schools open," Psaki said, reiterating President Biden's remarks Tuesday that officials know that schools "can be opened safely."