DC Activists Celebrate Chicago Workers' VictoryFriday, December 12, 2008
(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)
“Occupy your office, you just might win,” chanted dozens of rain-soaked local labor and community activists who rallied outside a downtown Bank of America Thursday. The rally was held to celebrate Chicago factory workers’ – who launched a sit-in last week – recent victory to get back unpaid severance and vacation pay and demand more accountability and transparency of the bailout. “We are here to celebrate the amazing and brave actions of a small group of workers in Chicago who were able to expose Bank of America and the failure of this bailout to address the needs of working people,” said DC Jobs with Justice Organizer Mackenzie Baris. The workers approved a $1.75 million settlement Wednesday that provides each worker with eight weeks of salary, payment for all accrued and unused vacation and two months paid health coverage. Workers began the sit-in when their company – Republic Windows and Doors – announced they were closing the plant with three days notice. Republic was forced to make the abrupt decision after Bank of America – just weeks after taking $25 billion in bailout money – refused to extend credit to the company. United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America – which represents the workers – also announced the creation of a new foundation – the Window of Opportunity Fund – dedicated to reopening the workers’ plant. Click here to donate to the fund.
- report/photo by Andy Richards