Saturday, December 13, 2008

[olympiaworkers] Sit-Down Strike Ends in Victory at Republic!

From UE Dec. 10, 2008
"Victory for republic workers. Negotiations are over and the workers have
won a victory for the American working class."

The plant occupation has ended as workers have reached a settlement
Wednesday, December 10, 2008! "Members of UE Local 1110 have voted to
a tentative agreement at Republic Windows and Doors. The occupation has
ended. Details as soon as possible."
<>For updates, see the
UE website at !

This is a fantastic precedent, winning a factory occupation after only five
days....! Let's keep up the militant energy in our organizing! For anyone
who doubts the power of organizing in our communities-- let's hold this as
an example of what grassroots organizing, base-building, and militant
escalation tactics can accomplish!!!

Peace and solidarity forever,

Update #2: Vote is 'Yes' at Republic; Plant Occupation Ends
After the conclusion of negotiations Wednesday evening, the membership of
Local 1110, more than 200 workers, met in the plant cafeteria to hear and
consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by UE
negotiators over the past three days.

The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote.
'Justice - We Did It!'

Following the vote, the UE members, led by Local President Armando Robles,
marched out of the plant, chanting "We did it!" in English and Spanish.

Pres. Robles stepped to the microphones outside the front entrance to the
plant, where a throng of reporters and cameras had been waiting. He
announced the end of the occupation and said that justice had been

UE Western Region President Carl Rosen then described the negotiations,
summarized the settlement agreement, and commented on the significance of
the struggle and the achievement.

Pay, Health Care, Vacation Pay
The settlement totals $1.75million. It will provide the workers with:

* eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act;

* provided with two months of continued health coverage, and;

* pay for all accrued and unused vacation.

JPMorgan Chase will provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance
coming from Bank of America
Third Party Fund
Although the money will be provided as a loan to Republic Windows and
Doors, it will go directly into a third-party fund whose sole purpose is
to pay the workers what is owed them.

As the Local 1110 leaders characterized the settlement, "We fought to make
them pay what they owe us, and we won."

'Historic Victory'
UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley spoke on behalf of the National
Union, describing the outcome of the occupation as "a victory for workers
everywhere," and as "an historic victory for America's labor movement."

Kingsley went on to call the settlement "a win for all working men and
women who face uncertainty, unfairness and job loss in a troubled
'The Window of Opportunity'

Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to
reopening the plant. It will be initiated with seed money from the UE
national union and the thousands of dollars of donations to the UE Local
1110 Solidarity Fund that have come in from across the country and around
the world in just the past five days.

Melvin Maclin of Local 1110 announced the name of the foundation, which
was chosen by the workers themselves: the Window of Opportunity Fund.
Maclin said that the fund will be open to receive donations from all
friends of the Republic workers and supporters of their struggle.

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