Thursday, February 18, 2010

Settlement Reached for Quad City Die Casting Workers

For Immediate Release

Contact: Leah Fried, UE Organizer 773-550-3022

A settlement has been reached between former workers of Quad City Die Casting and the Assignee in charge of the company’s assets that will ensure workers receive the pay and benefits they have earned. UE members will be paid for vacation that they were due in 2009 and enough funds to settle the outstanding medical bills employees incurred when the company retroactively cancelled their insurance.

“We're glad to get paid our vacation and medical bills. We stuck together and didn't give up and in the end we won! We would have been paid sooner if Wells Fargo had not been so greedy!” said Deb Johann, Secretary of UE Local 1174.

Quad City Die Casting announced they would be closing in May 2009 because Wells Fargo would not provide the credit necessary to keep the business open. Wells Fargo was the recipient of a $25 billion taxpayer bailout. After the federal government bailed the banks out, there was a 42% drop in loans to small businesses like Quad City Die Casting. Workers and their allies, including Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Members of Congress Phil Hare, Bill Braley and Jan Schakowsky, and Governor Pat Quinn, pressured the bank to save approximately 100 jobs and fought to make sure workers would be paid what they had earned.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who visited workers at the plant last summer and pledged to help a new buyer find financing, expressed his disappointment that the factory closed but added the back pay and benefit payments will serve as a lifeline for many families during these challenging times. "After a bank like Wells Fargo receives $25 billion in taxpayer bailout funds, it has a responsibility to act as a good corporate citizen, not stiff workers on pay and benefits they legally earned,” Giannoulias said. “Moving forward, we cannot continue to subsidize these big banks when credit markets remain frozen and executives get big bonuses while small businesses struggle and unemployment remains at record levels. They must invest in American jobs and American workers, not put our economy at further risk.”

High demand for the product and a dedicated, skilled workforce kept the plant open throughout the summer, earning Wells Fargo, the company’s primary creditor, an extra million dollars. Despite this unexpected windfall, Wells Fargo refused to pay workers their vacation pay and for health insurance bills. But workers and their union, UE, didn't give up, and instead picketed Wells Fargo and filed several legal charges to win what they were due. This settlement resolves the legal charges.

Workers will be present at Thursday’s press conference with the State Treasurer to present the terms of the settlement and how it will impact their families.

1 comment:

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