Sunday, December 07, 2008

Laid-off union workers won't leave Chicago factory

When the Bank of America cut off Republic Windows and Doors' line of credit, the factory was shut down with 3 days notice. Members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine workers have been staging a sit-in at the factory since Friday. Gerry Smith of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Republic Windows & Doors closed Friday after being in business since 1965. Members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, which represents 260 workers at the company's Goose Island plant, have taken shifts at a sit-in at the plant, 1333 N. Hickory Ave., since Friday.

The union said the bank is not letting the company pay workers their vacation and severance pay. In addition, the union said they were not given 60 days' notice of a mass layoff, as required by federal law.
Apparently contacts at Bank of America have not responded to the media, citing confidentiality requirements, perhaps the reason that no one has reported whether Republic itself was given notice. But accusations are being made:
Members of several unions attended Saturday's sit-in as well as Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who accused the company of knowing the plant was going to close long before last week's announcement to avoid paying workers for the days they are owed under federal law.
Pamela Jones of CBS 2 Chicago reports that the workers will "get help" from Jesse Jackson on Sunday. Will he offer to provide the $1 million that the workers say they are owed? I don't know, but if Jesse's there, there will be cameras. We'll watch for the video. Meanwhile, there is a video report at Breitbart.

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