Monday, December 8, 2008

It’s Our Money!

The United States Government recently gave vast amounts of money to financial institutions, including Bank of America, in an effort to get the money in the credit markets flowing again.

Under the U.S. Government’s plan, Bank of America took 15 billion dollars.

Republic Windows and Doors, founded in 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, wanted to access their existing line of credit with Bank of America.

Bank of America said no.

Republic Windows and Doors, who once employed 700 workers, but due to economic downturns, now employ 300 workers, ran out of money to pay their employees. Last Tuesday, Republic told their employees they were all going to be laid off. And in violation of Federal law, workers would receive no severance pay and no vacation pay which had been accrued - all this on just three days notice, which is also illegal for a mass layoff.

Republic employees, some of whom have worked there for decades, took over the building. They are keeping vigil around the clock in their shuttered company as they keep an eye on the remaining assets the company possesses.

If you want to lend your support to the employees of Republic Windows and Doors you can go to the website of the union which represents the majority of the workers, The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. If you would like to send an e-mail to Bank of America you can go to Jobs With Justice and sign on.

December 10, 2008 - UPDATE:
CNN via the Dow Jones Newswires is reporting some progress in the negotiations between Republic Windows and Doors, the employees, the union, Bank of America and state and federal officials.

Thank you for speaking up for the workers!


dancingmorganmouse said...

It always enrages me how the workers lose out on their backpay, severance pay, accrued leave etc pay when this sort of thing happens. This is money the employer should have in the bank. This is money that is owed to people (the employees), not to anyone else. If a business goes belly up, the workers should receive their entitlements FIRST, then what’s left can be dribbled out to the rest.
OOOh, I’m all frothed up with rage.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Thank you for your righteous anger. I agree with you completely.

If it weren't for the existing line of credit with Bank of America, this might be just another badly managed company closure. But the 15 Billion dollars was disbursed to BOA so it could flow out to customers and keep the wheels of commerce moving!

Good for the Republic employees for taking a stand and for so many other unions and individuals expressing support and solidarity with them - including President-Elect Barack Obama!
- Lee

Nana Fi said...

This makes one really mad. It is a disgrace and one just feels so helpless. Surely they will not be allowed to get away with it? Fiona