Chicago: Workers occupy plant
By Stephanie Weiner
Chicago, IL – The cafeteria at Republic Windows Factory on the North West side of Chicago was filled with workers tonight, Dec. 5. In a militant action, they have taken over and occupied the block-long building still filled with expensive merchandise and equipment. The 200 workers have been told that their plant is closing but have not been paid by the guidelines set forth in the WARN Act. It is estimated that the workers are owed $1million. The courageous workers insist that they get paid before the assets are removed from the expansive plant. They are especially outraged that the very Bank of America that claims it can not pay the Republic workers is the bank that received $25 billion in the last U.S. bail out!
The mostly Latino employees, who are members of United Electrical workers, have worked at Republic – some for over 30 years – and are not even being compensated with continued health insurance or the holiday and sick pay already owed them. They are also legally due wages for 60 more days after the announced closing today.
Vicente Rangel, a United Electrical workers steward and a worker for 15 years in the maintenance division said tonight, “We are sending a message to all the workers in America. We will try to keep the fight and we ask for your support.”
The workers chanted, “Sí se puede!” when they got news updates or solidarity visitors and made plans to stay up all night and prepare for a noon vigil on Saturday as well as a meeting with management and the bank representatives promised for Monday. As the word spread quickly today, plans were put in place for a Tuesday, Dec. 9 rally if their demands are not met.
Sign this petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/solidfac/petition.html
Write to Bank of America: http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/bankofamerica/step1