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Chicago Workers' Victory & New Campaign

From UE--"Victory for republic workers. Negotiations are over and the workers have won a victory for the American working class."

The plant occupation has ended as workers have reached a settlement Wednesday, December 10, 2008! "Members of UE Local 1110 have voted to accept a tentative agreement at Republic Windows and Doors. The occupation has ended. Details as soon as possible."
For updates, see the UE website at ueunion.org!

This is a fantastic precedent, winning a factory occupation after only five days....! Let's keep up the militant energy in our organizing! For anyone who doubts the power of organizing in our communities-- let's hold this as an example of what grassroots organizing, base-building, and militant escalation tactics can accomplish!!!

Peace and solidarity forever,
Salma
CHICAGO

Update #2: Vote is 'Yes' at Republic; Plant Occupation Ends

After the conclusion of negotiations Wednesday evening, the membership of Local 1110, more than 200 workers, met in the plant cafeteria to hear and consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by UE negotiators over the past three days.

The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote.

'Justice - We Did It!'

Following the vote, the UE members, led by Local President Armando Robles, marched out of the plant, chanting “We did it!” in English and Spanish.

Pres. Robles stepped to the microphones outside the front entrance to the plant, where a throng of reporters and cameras had been waiting. He announced the end of the occupation and said that justice had been achieved.

UE Western Region President Carl Rosen then described the negotiations, summarized the settlement agreement, and commented on the significance of the struggle and the achievement.

Pay, Health Care, Vacation Pay

The settlement totals $1.75million. It will provide the workers with:

  • eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act;
  • provided with two months of continued health coverage, and;
  • pay for all accrued and unused vacation.

JPMorgan Chase will provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance coming from Bank of America

Third Party Fund

Although the money will be provided as a loan to Republic Windows and Doors, it will go directly into a third-party fund whose sole purpose is to pay the workers what is owed them.

As the Local 1110 leaders characterized the settlement, “We fought to make them pay what they owe us, and we won.”

'Historic Victory'

UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley spoke on behalf of the National Union, describing the outcome of the occupation as “a victory for workers everywhere,” and as “an historic victory for America’s labor movement.”

Kingsley went on to call the settlement “a win for all working men and women who face uncertainty, unfairness and job loss in a troubled economy.”

'The Window of Opportunity' Foundation

Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to reopening the plant. It will be initiated with seed money from the UE national union and the thousands of dollars of donations to the UE Local 1110 Solidarity Fund that have come in from across the country and around the world in just the past five days.

Melvin Maclin of Local 1110 announced the name of the foundation, which was chosen by the workers themselves: the Window of Opportunity Fund. Maclin said that the fund will be open to receive donations from all friends of the Republic workers and supporters of their struggle.





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Views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent the ideas or opinions of the Northeast Anarchist Network or affiliated groups. Posts, comments and statements represent the individual user by which they are posted, or an individual or group cited within the text.