Friday, December 5, 2008

Chicago workers seize the plant

Merry Christmas workers. 'Thanks for the bailout. Screw you', says B of A

So I just get back in town from working with some high schools in Indiana, when my brother Fred (PREAPrez) calls. He and Anne are down at Republic Windows & Doors on Chicago's north side, trying to lend some support to a couple of hundred mainly Latino workers who have taken over the plant and are demanding that they get paid. Republic shut its doors with little notice, leaving its workers high and dry for Christmas. They have refused to pay the workers their due severance pay and have been sneaking assets and equipment out of the plant for weeks.

Why? Republic president, Rich Gillman claims that the recession has cut the company's business in half and forced them to negotiate a loan from the bank to carry them over through these tough times. But their bank was taken over by the Bank of America, which just got a multi-billion-dollar bailout from...US. But despite its new found billions, the bank refuses to lend and prefers sitting on the bailout money. The company says it can't operate without the loan. So the company shut its doors and stuck it to the workers.

Is this what the bailout is for? What ever happened to a bailout for Main Street?

More on this story here, here, and here.

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