Solidarity pours in for Chicago workers occupying factory

Obama says demands are absolutely right

Published on People’s Weekly World Newspaper PWW, by John Bachtell, Dec. 07, 2008.

CHICAGO (Updated) – Solidarity is pouring in for 250 workers who have been sitting-in for three days at Republic Windows and Doors, including from President-elect Barack Obama. The company closed abruptly Dec. 5 because Bank of America, its chief investor, refused to extend a $5 million line of credit. BA recently received a $25 billion bailout from the federal government …

… Meanwhile many of the workers, who are represented by United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), feel the company has ulterior motives for shutting the plant down. Ron Bender, a second shift worker noted Republic held “monthly town hall meetings to communicate with the workers. These ended in August and then they started removing equipment and materials from the factory.”

“A few weeks ago the removed an entire production line. Today it’s in storage in a lot on the south side. We want to know why they did this,” said Bender.

The workers are determined to stay until they get everything owed to them. Donald White said, “With all the publicity, we hope it’s a wake up call to all the companies. We need to give workers more power and maybe we can keep our jobs.” (full text).

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