What's next for Republic Windows & Doors Workers?

What happened at that Chicago manufacturing plant brought back alot of memories of how extremely talented workers fought for what they knew were their rights, decent wages for their labor, on the job safety, trading wages for benefits like health and welfare directly and much much more. Fights that shouldn't have really happened in a real model of capitalism where all should share directly in the quality and growth of their work and the companies they work for.

We need to return to that pride in company and product, quality products and customer service, correcting the defaults, and growth for all, owners, workers, and investors.

We like to use the term 'Strong on National Security' and one political party tries to lay claim to the phrase, trouble is having others build and produce the products and services, in other countries, leaves ours without the experiance and knowledge, thus without the ability to get that security if ever needed. And that political party is the one leading in pushing our trades and knowledge to offshore venues, we have already lost many trades and abilities over these last couple of decades, those who did that work are gone or will be!

Lets look at what's asked in the subject title:

Well it looks like they've got a plan, and a plan that can be followed by others, but first lets look at what they got for their nonviolent action for their rights, rights under the law of this land:

 

After 6 days occupying the plant, workers at Republic Window and Doors in Chicago voted to accept a settlement late last night.

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

* Eight weeks of pay they are owed under the Federal WARN Act

* 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. 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. In addition, the UE has started the "Window of Opportunity Fund" dedicated to re-opening the plant.

As the Local 1110 leaders characterized the settlement, "We fought to make them pay what they owe us, and we won." Read more about the settlement here.

They also sent along a "Thank You":

 

We want to extend a big THANK YOU to all of you who participated in this campaign. The tremendous support and solidarity from the thousands of people like you around the country - and the world - who took the time to send messages to Bank of America and who rallied at banks across the country was crucial in winning this victory.

This is truly an historic victory for workers in the United States.

But this struggle is just the beginning! As the economic crisis deepens we need to launch a working class fight back. Rallies for a "People's Bailout" will continue today and throughout the rest of the week. Click here to find an action near you {updated daily}. You can also take action online.

* Tell Congress: We Demand a People's Bailout

* Save Autoworker Jobs

* VOTE NOW for Grinch of the Year

Thanks again for all that you do! You can see photos, video, and press clips from the Week of Action here.

In todays Chicago Tribune they lay out what is on the workers minds, they won their fight for their rights but like many in this collapsing economy they are now out of jobs.

 

The six-day sit-in by former workers at the shuttered Republic Windows & Doors plant won them money and benefits, but they're still out of work, leading them and others to say they'll try to reopen the factory as they hope what they did provides a spark of hope for a beleaguered labor movement.

While they tried,

 

Union negotiators were unable to obtain a commitment from the parties to reopen the Goose Island plant, said United Electrical Workers organizer Mark Meinster. So the union has decided to forge ahead to find someone new to run the plant, he said, using some of the money donated from around the world during the sit-in.

City officials have voiced their support for work to resume in the building, which is owned by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

"There are assets in there," said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), who said he has contacted companies to see whether they are interested in moving into the plant.

The deal struck for the workers was hailed by some as a symbolic victory for American workers facing a difficult economic climate. Robert Bruno, a labor expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the peaceful occupation might set an example for others faced with abrupt layoffs.

And as a Representative of his Districts People says:

 

"This Republic Windows saga, I'm sure, is reverberating throughout boardrooms in America," said U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez {D-Ill.}, who moderated the negotiations.

And it shouldn't be only because of the action taken by these workers to force The Law of This Country to be Followed, laws are not only to be followed by some they are to be followed by all!

And this spin, propaganda, group think, that passes as fact should end, that Labor Costs, Wages and Benefits are what takes down companies and economies, while we Totally Ignore the Packages of the Executives, from top down throughout the executive structure and the wheeling and dealings on Wall Street and in our Governments, Federal, State and Local, the greed and incompetence across all these must stop, and rewarding those who are incompetent and fully behind the greed must also stop, especially as workers wages and benefits are stagnant across the board for many years while corporate leadership aren't, for as we're watching and living That's What Brings Down Companies and Economies!

While it will be extremely difficult to obtain financing to restructure companies with the worker input, and that's a must, we need to rebuild a new system, a real Capitalist System where All benefit not just the hand full, we are seeing the results of that last, Everyone Loses, Everyone!!

Oh and a not so little secret, for it's what built this countries economy up till some twenty to thirty years ago, not everyone wants nor needs a piece of paper telling them and others they gained knowledge from so called places of Higher Education. Skills and Experience aren't taught there, skills many feel they have or have developed through their own interests they seek to develop further and get compensated as well as feel good about using and developing those skills. Interests outside of work are sought not only to satisfy a curiosity but a need to learn more about them. Education is a lifelong experience and want for most, it just depends on how one seeks out that education and not being forced into.

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Listen to CNN and you can hear more than you want to know about Blago and the scandal, but............ nothing about Republic. These guys need jobs now.

It looks like the union movement is gaining steam. We need a rehaul of the anti-union legislation that hamstrings organizing. The word out there should be "Barack wants you to organize...."  Even though FDR actually tailed the union organizing drive as far as I know, the unions used the slogan "FDR wants you to organize..." very effectively to get the ball rolling.

carol

Were as they are really supposed to be, and they've never been' we wouldn't need Unions, especially if we had the Capitalist System we say we do.

But you're Right, Unions are going to start growing, it's the only thing that workers got, and everything has been to stagnate for way to long.

One pork plant here in NC apparently just got theirs, it's news today, and what the workers did in Chicago will help wake up other workers, if we can get through this collapse!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Got their layoff notice, won something through action, what? I think it would be great if you would expand on your comment. If we start reporting on what is happening on the union front I think that would be a real contribution.

carol

Not enough of and the Unions have to be rebuilt as well.

Been thinking about that though, as to the OIF and OEF Veterans and what they could involve themselves in now, especially in helping relieve what the multiple tours have done and focus on something else constructive.

But again Time, and the fact that the situation I'm in, like many and many more are going to be doesn't leave ones mind in a state to be clear, even if one is a writer, which I'm not.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Several friends of mine joined the military at various times because they could not afford higher education otherwise. And they stayed for multiple terms because of the civilian job market. These days as joblessness rises joining up will be forced on kids unless Obama goes for something like FDR's CCC. And spinning it out, decent well-paid civilian jobs would create a higher floor for military pay.

carol

Especially from the south and rural areas are brainwashed about the Unions and How Bad They Are, which is the reason many are also gopers, don't make sense.

And when trying to explain to them that they are workers, in civilian life, and the 'man' don't give nothing, especially under these 'trickle down' crap theories of economics, they are so ingrained with the bull they draw blanks at how they're only hurting themselves, than they start in on the Taxes bull, which is another tail altogether, especially the last twenty years or so where they fear asking for a raise.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

This country has really dumbed down., hasn't it.

carol