The news across the wire is that UE Local 1110 voted “yes” to a deal worked out between the union, Bank of America, and ownership of Chicago-based (for now) Republic Windows and Doors.  BOA looks like it’ll be extending a $1.35 million dollar loan to the company which will allow them to pay more than 200 worker’s their legally owned back pay, accumulated vacation time and benefits, and severance.  More pushy folks (like me) were hoping to see worker’s re-open the plant under their own management, but lets not be foolish here: this is a major– and radical– victory for these worker’s as well as for the working class and organized labor in the U.S..  As of last week, these folks were fired with three day’s notice and told they wouldn’t get any of their rightfully owed benefits or severance, and in fact told that they may not get paid for the week they just worked.  They came together, stood-up, acted militantly and cohesively, and with the aid of local, national, and international solidarity, they’re getting the minimum of what is due to them under the law.  Cheers to them, the UE, and everyone who came together to say “no fucking way” on their behalf.

Only time will tell, of course, but personally, I seriously doubt this is the last that we’ve seen of this sort of situation; and as it continues, we’re likely to see more militant and radical end-results.  The entire nation just witnessed the victory that these worker’s determination, resolve, empowerment, and collective action was able to win for them- as more and more folks find themselves in similar situations, they will (likely) know that they don’t have to accept the “inevitability” of their plight.

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