CHICAGO, Dec. 6 (UPI) — Laid-off workers at the Republic Windows & Doors factory in Chicago remained camped out there Saturday, refusing to leave without their severance pay.
WMAQ-TV reported about 50 of the 200 idled workers could be seen through a window sitting on chairs and pallets on the factory floor. The Chicago TV station said reporters were asked to stay out of the plant’s work area.
“We’re going to stay here until we win justice,” said Blanca Funes, 55, of Chicago, who had been inside for several hours.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported the workers occupied the factory and warehouse Friday after company officials didn’t show at negotiations brokered by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., between the company and its bank. The workers say they are owed vacation and severance pay.
Republic said it was closing its doors as a result of Bank of America cutting its credit line.
Union officials said the company failed to give the 60 days’ notice required by federal law and that the bank barred the company from paying for the 60-day period or for vacation time earned by employees, the newspaper reported.
“It’s completely shameless that Bank of America took billions in taxpayer dollars and cuts off credit to a company we believe could have stayed in business,” United Electrical Workers union official Leah Fried said.
Bank of America said it was not responsible for Republic’s obligations.
What’s this got to do with Working Assets?? Well, As you’ll notice, the real villain in the above story is B of A. (Why am I not surprised?) Working Assets (the “progressive alternative”) runs its credit cards through — none other than B of A. (They’re now calling it FIA Card Sevices N.A.; but that’s a wholly owned subsidiary of B of A.) I think it’s outrageous for a “progressive” business to be involved in this kind of robber baron era type of tactics. I have called Working Assets and left a message with them that, they need to tell B of A that either it reverses its position on Republic Window & Door (and other similar lay-off situations) or Working Assets will take its business elsewhere. I also told Working Assets that if they wouldn’t, I’d take my business elsewhere. I’d encourage any of you who have accounts with Working assets (either credit card, phone, or other) to call them with the same message. Their phone number is: