Here in Chicago, laid-off workers are standing up for themselves, and the solidarity is growing.
The United Electrical Workers at Republic Window and Door were notified on Wednesday that as of Friday, they were jobless. No severance. No vacation pay-out. Nothing. Why? Because the business is plunging towards dissolution, unable to get a line of credit, and Bank of America was instructing them not to honor their obligations--no line of credit to honor obligations.
So when the workers went in on Friday to pick up their pay checks, 200 strong, they sat down and refused to leave. It's a worker occupation, like the Flint strike of 1936/7.
Today they held a vigil event outside the factory doors; labor representatives from every major union--AFSCME, SEIU, UAW, the Teachers, IBEW, and more--showed up to show support. Congressman Luis Gutierrez made a strong statement in support of the workers as well.
This is a developing story. I will have video to post shortly. Show your support for the workers--get in touch with the UE and ask how you can help, today!
UPDATE 1: Members of Local 1110 need your support. Make checks payable to the UE Local 1110 Solidarity Fund, and mail to: 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607. Messages of support can be sent to organizer Leah Fried. For more information, call UE at 312-829-8300.
At the Jobs with Justice Web site, you can send a message of protest to Bank of America.
Today began the first factory occupation the USA has seen in recent memory.
Donations of food and money are requested, as are solidarity actions targeting the Bank of America. The factory is in the Goose Island neighborhood, at 1333 N Hickory (right near Division and Halsted).
I will have footage of the event to post momentarily.
Update 2: Here is video from the event; it's choppy (the first 27 sec in particular), and I was in the middle of the crowd so please excuse the shaking. Part 2 will be up shortly.
--Ramsin Canon, cross-posted from Gapers Block.