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Support Swells for Chicago Union Workers' Factory Occupation

Latest news and updates, video, photos, radio about Chicago's Republic Windows workers' factory occupation
Chicago Workers Occupy FactoryThe worker occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory on Chicago's Goose Island by members of UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America) Local 1110 went into its third day on Sunday, and workers have vowed to continue the occupation until they are paid back pay and benefits, or until the plant is re-opened.

The occupation was declared on Friday, the day the company moved to shutter the plant with only three days notice — in violation of federal and state labor laws. Owners have also cut off employees' insurance and failed to pay back pay. The takeover has sparked a groundswell of support across the nation, with rallies, e-mail campaigns, petition drives, fundraisers and plans for future actions. [ Updated news links ]

Company management blames the shut-down on Bank of America, which cut their credit line — after BoA received $25 billion in federal bailout money that the bank said they did not need. Since the bailout began, BoA — like big banks across the globe — has slashed credit lines to businesses, forcing a growing number of small and medium-sized companies to shut down. Workers plan to meet with company and bank representatives on Monday — and to picket BoA's LaSalle St. offices on Tuesday if Republic's line of credit is not restored.

The action at Republic Windows comes on the heels of a drive to kick out the company union, which had colluded with company owners and management for years. That effort succeeded after three years of struggle. Republic Windows' worker occupation is one of the first actions of its kind in the United States since the Great Depression, when a wave of sit-in strikes and factory occupations marked one of the most militant phases in U.S. labor history.

Accounts from the CIMC newswire [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ] Local Blogs: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |5 | 6 ] Photos: [ 1 |2 ] Video: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] Radio: Labor Express live streaming at WLUW | WINS Radio interviews UE's Leah Fried
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by Dick Reilly, CIMC
Here's a list of things you can do right now to show solidarity with the Republic Windows and Doors union workers now in their fourth day of the factory occupation in Chicago. Your support can make a difference.

You can send a solidarity message from your union or community group by clicking this link [ ] and entering your message in the form provided on the webpage.
For more information, call UE at 1- 312-829-8300.

You can sign the youth and student online petition campaign in solidarity with the embattled Republic Windows and Doors workers. [ ]

You can organize solidarity demonstrations at the nearest branch office of Bank of America. UE workers in North Carolina are doing just that. [ ]

You can also join the Jobs with Justice email campaign and send a clear message to the Bank of America by clicking here:
[ ]

Help spread the word online by posting corporate and alternativc news updates to your favorite blogs and websites. One place to get continuing updates is the Chicago Indymedia website at:
[ ] and the UE webpage at: [ ]

You can also join the Facebook group "In Solidarity with the Chicago workers of Republic Windows and Doors here:
[ ]

And finally, please consider making a donation to the cause.Contributions are both welcome and needed: through PayPal: use the 'Donate' button on the UE home page. [ ]

By Mail: UE Local 1110 Solidarity Fund, UE Western Region, 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607
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