Small Victory

by dday

It looks like the workers who have occupied the building at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago may get what has been promised to them.

The creditor of a Chicago plant where laid-off employees are conducting a sit-in to demand severance pay said Tuesday it would extend limited loans to the factory so it could resolve the dispute, but the workers declared their protest unfinished.

The Republic Windows and Doors factory closed last week after Bank of America canceled its financing. About 200 laid-off workers responded by staging a sit-in at the plant, vowing to stay until getting assurances they would receive severance and accrued vacation pay [...]

Leah Fried, a spokeswoman for the union representing the workers, said Tuesday that it was too soon to know whether the sit-in will be called off. She said that workers would have to vote to end the action but that negotiations among the bank, the company and union representative continued.

I say "small victory" because it's not like the workers will have a job to go back to, and because this is the first of what are likely to be many strikes and worker actions as a consequence of the deep recession we're trapped in.

Still, the labor movement can be proud of their work on this. Now it's time to get that kind of representation at the banks:

(CNN) -- The powerful Service Employees International Union has decided that, because of the $700 billion financial-system bailout, it wants to organize bank workers.

Banks that get taxpayer money need to "ensure their workers have a voice," a union spokeswoman says [...]

"We believe there is special responsibility for companies who receive taxpayer dollars to ensure their workers have a voice on the job," SEIU's Lynda Tran said. "And those workers should have a seat at the table at the companies where decisions that impact the future of their families and the companies that employ them" are made.

"We are talking to workers really broadly in banking," she said.

Of course, Bank of America, the company that denied financing to Republic Windows and Doors, took billions in bailout money.