In Solidarity with Chicago Workers, DC JwJ Pickets Bank of America and Calls for a People’s Bailout

On Friday December 5th, the workers of Republic Windows and Doors, members of UE Local 1110, occupied their factory, which was due to close at 10:00 AM. Republic Windows and Doors was forced to close after Bank of America, just weeks after taking $25 Billion in bailout money, turned its back on hundreds of workers making energy efficient doors and windows in Chicago by refusing to continue credit to the company.Get informed, get involved, get plugged in. rnrnWednesday, December 10th at 6:30pmrnEconomic Crisis: How did we get here and how do we get out?rnInstitute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th St. NW, Suite 600.rnJoin local economists, advocates and organizers to talk about the root causes of current economic crisis, what it means for communities locally and globally, and WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. rnrnThursday, December 11th at 4:00pmrnSupport Chicago Workers, Picket Bank of AmericarnBank of America, Corner of 15th St NW and Pennsylvania Ave.rnrnBackground:rnrnOn Friday December 5th, the workers of Republic Windows and Doors, members of UE Local 1110, occupied their factory, which was due to close at 10:00 AM. The workers are fighting for pay for their lost vacation days and for the 75 days notice that they are guaranteed under Illinois law. This is the first time in many years workers have taken the bold, militant strategy of occupying their place of work to demand justice.rnrnRepublic Windows and Doors was forced to close after Bank of America, just weeks after taking $25 Billion in bailout money, turned its back on hundreds of workers making energy efficient doors and windows in Chicago by refusing to continue credit to the company. To make matters even worse than putting 300 people out of work, Bank of America has instructed Republic to refuse to pay workers compensation they are legally entitled to, either earned vacation pay or the severance pay legally required under the WARN Act, in lieu of proper notice of plant closing.rnrnToday is Day 4 of the occupation.rnrnThe Chicago factory take-over is continuing, and generating more interest/energy. National media is picking it up. Labor and community leaders in Chicago are rallying around this struggle, an example of the economic crisis and the need for a People’s Bailout, as well as an example of what workers can do to take charge of their own fates.rnrnSeveral members of Congress have visited the workers in support. Chicago and Cook County councils are likely to pass resolutions to pull their money out of Bank of America. Bank of America is trying to pin the blame on Republic Windows, and seems to be leaking info to the press that makes that company look bad. Even Barack Obama has made a statement in support of the workers at least getting paid what they are owed.rnrnSome leaders of larger unions are talking about a bigger demo (probably Wed) that could shut down part of downtown Chicago.rnrnExpectations for now (things are in flux) is meetings/negotiations on Monday (today).rnrnWith or without a deal, the intent is to have a mobilization on Wed, Dec 10 in Chicago. If there’s no deal, then Republic/BofA will be the target, and mention some of our other pieces as side note. If there IS a deal, the broader economic crisis and Peoples Bailout will be the focus, with this local issue one of the examples.rnrnThese workers are fighting for all of us! As the economic crisis deepens we need to launch a working class fight back. These workers are the starting point and deserve our full support. Stay tuned.rnrn

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