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Sit-down at Republic Windows

Workers have refused to leave the Republic Windows and Doors plant on Goose Island, which shut down at 10 a.m. this morning.  They are demanding that Bank of America agree to stop blocking payment of vacation pay and compensation owed under federal and state plant closing notification laws.

United Electrical Workers, the union representing over 200 Republic workers, has charged that the company was forced to close because Bank of America has refused to use billions of dollars in federal bailout funds to maintain credit lines to longtime customers.

The sit-down comes a little more than 72 years after the first sit-down strike by Bendix workers in South Bend, Indiana, and three weeks before the 72nd anniversary of the ephochal 44-day Flint sit-down strike, which forced General Motors to recognize the United Auto Workers.

Republic workers have vowed to stay in their old factory until Bank of America negotiates a settlement.  Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s office is working to bring the parties together for a meeting this afternoon, according to UE.

See recent Newstips — Credit Crunch Threatens Local Plant and Update: Republic Windows to Close — also the Newstips blog on why banks aren’t using bailout funds to lend.

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Category: economy, jobs, labor

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