Chicago Workers Continue Factory Occupation

December 9, 2008: Support has grown for workers at Republic Windows and Doors, as their sit-down protest enters its fifth day.

Talks between Bank of America, Republic and its employees, 240 of whom are members of United Electrical Workers (UE) Local 1100, have continued to result in a stalemate.

The workers have been occupying the plant since Friday, when Republic announced it would be closing operations at once—without paying back-pay, vacation pay or front-pay owed under the WARN Act.

Yesterday, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago aldermen spoke out in support of the Republic workers during a visit to their Chicago plant. Gov. Blagojevich has ordered state agencies to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business with Bank of America, until a settlement between Republic and its employees is reached.

The pressure mounting against Bank of America, which has thus far turned down multiple requests by Republic to restore its line of credit, is not only coming from politicians but also from grassroots allies.

This Monday saw the first round of actions held in solidarity with the workers at Republic, including a picket staged by immigrants’ rights and community activists in Chicago outside of a Bank of America branch. Teamsters have been joining rallies in support. Jobs with Justice has been working to organize pickets at Bank of America locations across the country.

Click here to read a statement from the United Electrical Workers on the struggle.

Click here to read an article from the Chicago Tribune.

Click here to read an article from the Chicago Sun-Times.

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