Chicago: workers occupy factory

Workers in Chicago have occupied their factory over demands for severance and vacation pay promised by management. The factory was slated for closure on Friday, the day the occupation began.

Socialist Worker reports:

WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factory slated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management.

In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation.

“We decided to do it because this is money that belongs to us,” said Maria Roman, who’s worked at the plant for eight years. “These are our rights.”

Word of the occupation spread quickly both among labor and immigrant rights activists–the overwhelming majority of the workers are Latinos. Seven local TV news stations showed up to do interviews and live reports, and a steady stream of activists arrived to bring donations of food and money and to plan solidarity actions.

Further information can be found at pilsenprole.

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