Update #2: Vote is 'Yes' at Republic
|Update #2: Vote is 'Yes' at Republic; Plant Occupation Ends
10 December, 2008
AFTER THE conclusion of negotiations Wednesday evening, the membership
of Local 1110, more than 200 workers, met in the plant cafeteria to
hear and consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by
UE negotiators over the past three days.
The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote.
'Justice - We Did It!'
Following the vote, the UE members, led by Local President Armando
Robles, marched out of the plant, chanting "We did it!" in English and
Pres. Robles stepped to the microphones outside the front entrance to
the plant, where a throng of reporters and cameras had been waiting.
He announced the end of the occupation and said that justice had been
UE Western Region President Carl Rosen then described the
negotiations, summarized the settlement agreement, and commented on
the significance of the struggle and the achievement.
Pay, Health Care, Vacation Pay
The settlement totals $1.75million. It will provide the workers with:
* eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act;
* provided with 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
Third Party Fund
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.
As the Local 1110 leaders characterized the settlement, "We fought to
make them pay what they owe us, and we won."
UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley spoke on behalf of the
National Union, describing the outcome of the occupation as "a victory
for workers everywhere," and as "an historic victory for America's
Kingsley went on to call the settlement "a win for all working men and
women who face uncertainty, unfairness and job loss in a troubled
'The Window of Opportunity' Foundation
Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to
reopening the plant. It will be initiated with seed money from the UE
national union and the thousands of dollars of donations to the UE
Local 1110 Solidarity Fund that have come in from across the country
and around the world in just the past five days.
Melvin Maclin of Local 1110 announced the name of the foundation,
which was chosen by the workers themselves: the Window of Opportunity
Fund. Maclin said that the fund will be open to receive donations from
all friends of the Republic workers and supporters of their struggle.
Rosen introduced U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, praising the congressman
for his tireless work in behalf of the Republic workers and
indispensible role in bringing about the settlement. Gutierrez spoke
at some length, and then introduced David Rudis, Illinois State
President, Bank of America.
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