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The Mechanics
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Labor & Worker Rights Thu Dec 11 2008

Republic Windows Occupation Ends in Victory

Chicago holds its title as the epicenter of America's worker movements. As layoffs have swept through America's working class, one group of workers decided to stand up -- or sit down -- at the point of production and refuse to be treated with anything but the respect that years of service and work deserve.

We heard stories at the factory of how some of the workers had essentially designed entire elements of the production process, how they had developed a machine shop inside to maintain equipment. Anyone who has worked a job knows just how essential institutional knowledge is to improved processes on the job. Workers have value.

Congratulations to the workers and their families:

About 9:30 p.m., the more than 200 workers present at the shuttered plant voted unanimously to accept a deal brokered after three days and nearly 20 hours of negotiations between their union, Republic management, its lender, and other parties. In the end, about $1.75 million was brokered to accommodate the workers' demand for 60 days severance wages, vacation pay and a two-month extension of health insurance...."The occupation is over," said Armando Robles, president of the union local based at the plant. "We have achieved victory. We said we will not go until we got justice and we have it." Other Republic workers said they were thrilled that the sit-in had accomplished its goals and brought support from around the world.


 
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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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