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The Mechanics
« Day by Daley, Monday 08 December Negotiations To Continue Tuesday »

Labor & Worker Rights Mon Dec 08 2008

Republic Workers Occupy, Pols Pile On

Word about the worker occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Goose Island spread through Chicago's labor community the way a rumored stock splitting zips through country clubs, thus the Chicago labor communities' instantaneous showing of support early Saturday morning.

The explosion of support for the workers has goaded politicians to act in support of the workers: in the last 24 hours, four of Illinois' constitutional officers, County Board members, and members of our Congressional delegation have all come out and inserted themselves in varying ways.

If any of this support was unwelcome I'd guess it was that of our beleaguered and fantastically unpopular Governor, who made a vague statement about the state "suspending" its "business" with the Bank of America.

Rich Miller, as only Rich Miller can do, questions the meaningfulness of the Governor's threat:

* OK, but I wondered what business the State of Illinois actually does with Bank of America. So, I posed that question to the guv's press office, and they didn't have a ready response....Bank of America owns LaSalle Bank, a storied Chicago institution. So, there is probably quite a bit of business there, particularly with bonding. But are we going to cancel those bonds? No. Can we disqualify the bank from future bonding without facing bigtime lawsuits? You got me. Is this bridge loan program for state vendors also in jeopardy?...It would be nice if we knew exactly what sort of pressure this threat will actually put on the bank itself, or whether this is just an empty gesture designed for maximum press exposure.


How's everybody else getting into the mix? Well, Congressman Luis Gutierrez was first on the scene and is helping out in the negotiations.

Cook County Board Commissioner and potential candidate for Rahm Emanuel's 5th District seat Mike Quigley (via Bloomberg):

Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley will introduce an ordinance to block the state's biggest county from doing business with Bank of America, he said in an interview. "I'm usually cautious, but this is an extraordinary example at an extraordinary time," Quigley said. "When you talk theory, they nod and wink, but when you put in an ordinance, they know you are serious."


State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (also via that Bloomberg piece):

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will meet with Bank of America officials and others later today regarding closing of Republic Windows & Doors.


Attorney-General Lisa Madigan:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she's investigating the closure of the plant and is concerned with the company's actions.


I'm not going to be cynical; I'm just going to say good on all these folks for standing on the side of workers. Although maybe it would be best if the Governor let the folks with an approval rating north of 20 percent handle this.

 
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John / December 8, 2008 6:10 PM

Funny that only the person with the 13% approval rating is sticking his neck out and doing something meaningful. All the other pols are just talk.

"I'll introduce an ordinance?"

"I'll investigate it?"

"I'll talk to them?"

Maybe if those North of 20 percent would have the guts to do something like Mr. South of 20 percent was doing, those workers would be through this.

Maybe its because Blago has nothing to lose. I kinda like politicians who feel they have nothing to lose. Less talk. More action.

Ramsin CanonAuthor Profile Page / December 8, 2008 8:53 PM

Touche.

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By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

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