In Chicago, workers left jobless after the factory where they worked closed its doors have occupied the building, and refuse to leave until they are paid severance and vacation pay owed to them.
Leah Fried, an organizer with the United Electrical Workers Union, criticized Wall Street, and claimed that Republic Windows and Doors, closed its doors without giving the sixty day notice required by law…the company only gave three days notice of the impending closing.
“If this bailout should go to anything, it should go to the workers of this country” — said Fried.
Republic Windows and Doors was forced to close down after Bank of America, its primary creditor, refused to extend any further credit to the troubled corporation whose sales had fallen by nearly 50% in the past month. Union organizers blamed the bank for the closing, and suggested that Bank of America should use part of their $25 billion government bail out funds to pay the 200 union workers severance and vacation benefits.
This begs some serious questions.
Should the bail out funds be used to support the institutions largely at fault for the failure of our industry?
Should tax-payer money be used to invigorate industry, or to prop up bankrupt businesses, and fulfill union contracts in cases like this?
The losses suffered here go beyond the severance and vacation pay of the company’s employees…a family has lost a business they built and operated for over forty years. Can they, like their workers, claim title to a portion of Bank of America’s share of Congress’s $700 billion banking industry bail out in the aftermath of their loss?
Hard business decisions need to be made here, and if the bail out moneys are used as welfare for displaced workers, the intended purpose of the “bail out” will be lost, and the $700 billion dollars will fail to achieve its intended purpose.