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Chicago: Victory for Republic Windows Workers and the U.S. Working Class

By Stephanie Weiner

Victorious factory workers with raised fists

Chicago, IL – After a six-day occupation of the plant which brought them nationwide attention, the Republic Windows and Doors workers met inside their factory tonight, Dec. 10, to vote on the settlement offer from their employer. A roomful of politicians watched and a knot of supporters waited for the results with great anticipation.

After a few minutes, the chants of “Sí se puede!” were heard in the halls and all the workers streamed out. Cheers went up. The settlement was announced: The Bank of America and CHASE had agreed to a $1.75 million loan. The workers will receive the eight weeks of pay due to them by the WARN act, two months of health insurance and their earned vacation pay.

Their cause had become a symbol of the anger that workers everywhere felt over the Wall Street bailout and the rising unemployment rate. Their fight was with an employer which was secretly setting up a low-wage factory in another state, but also with the Bank of America, which had received $25 billion in taxpayers’ bailout money.

Armando Robles, president of United Electrical workers Local 1110, remarked in summation, “You can do anything when you have the support of every one of your co-workers.” He added, “This is not a victory just for us. It is a victory for every worker in the country.”

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