[Marxism] Sit-in workers closer to winning demands

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 9 18:36:53 MST 2008

Workers who staged sit-in at Chicago plant win
Bank will give loans to employer so they can cover severance, vacation pay
The Associated Press
updated 6:00 p.m. ET, Tues., Dec. 9, 2008

CHICAGO - The creditor of a Chicago plant where laid-off employees 
are conducting a sit-in to demand severance pay said Tuesday it would 
extend limited loans to the factory so it could resolve the dispute, 
but the workers declared their protest unfinished.

The Republic Windows and Doors factory closed last week after Bank of 
America canceled its financing. About 200 laid-off workers responded 
by staging a sit-in at the plant, vowing to stay until getting 
assurances they would receive severance and accrued vacation pay.

Their action garnered national attention, seen by some as a symbol of 
defiance for workers laid off nationwide.

A resolution appeared closer when the bank announced that it had sent 
a letter to Republic offering to "provide a limited amount of 
additional loans" to resolve the employee claims.

The bank appeared to side at least in part with disgruntled workers, 
expressing concern in a statement Tuesday "about Republic's failure 
to pay their employees the Employee Claims to which they are legally entitled."

Bank of America has been criticized for cutting off the plant's 
credit after taking federal bailout money itself.

Leah Fried, a spokeswoman for the union representing the workers, 
said Tuesday that it was too soon to know whether the sit-in will be 
called off. She said that workers would have to vote to end the 
action but that negotiations among the bank, the company and union 
representative continued.

Workers, who received just three days' notice before the plant shut 
down on Friday, argue that the company violated federal law because 
employees were not given 60 days' notice that they were losing their jobs.

The company did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This 
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