Monday, April 27, 2009

Former Republic Windows workers welcome VP Biden to plant

From the United Electrical Workers (UE) Union:

Chicago, IL, April 27, 2009 – Union members from the former Republic Windows and Doors factory today welcomed Vice President Joe Biden, as he took a tour of the Goose Island, Chicago facility. The factory is in the process of being reopened under the ownership of California based Serious Materials.

A small crew has been working in the plant for a few weeks preparing to get the plant back to full production.

“We look forward to getting all our members rehired and working at Serious Materials to create green jobs at living wages,” said Armando Robles, President of UE Local 1110, a maintenance worker at the factory.

The union and Serious Materials reached an agreement in February ensuring that all former Republic employees will be rehired at their former rate of pay. The UE will continue to represent workers at the factory.

“We are glad to see that we have the continuing support of the White House. This would not have been possible without the hard work we have done as a union, and the support of our allies,” said UE Local Vice-President Melvin Maclin.

“The former Republic Windows and Doors shows that simply relying on market forces and unregulated banks and corporations cannot provide an economy that works for the American people,” said Carl Rosen, President of UE Western Region.

“We hope that the Administration and Congress continue to take the steps that are needed to ensure that everyone in our country who wants to work has a steady, decently-paid job that they can go to every day,” Rosen continued.

The workers made national headlines and inspired a movement in December when they held a six day occupation of the plant in order to win severance benefits after their employer broke the federal WARN Act by closing their plant with only three days notice, eliciting the support of President-elect Obama.

Workers from the plant are available for interview.

Serious Materials contact: Valerie Jenkins 408-636-6329

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