News, Twitter and on-the-ground updates from the occupation of Serious Materials in Chicago.
Workers with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America have occupied Serious Materials (formerly Republic Window & Door) in Chicago. The company had said it is closing operations at its Chicago plant due to "ongoing economic challenges in construction and building products, collapse in demand for window products, difficulty in obtaining favorable lease terms, high leasing and utility costs and taxes, and a range of other factors unrelated to labor costs[...]"
In response, the union countered that it wanted time to attempt to find a new buyer or figure out if they could raise the money themselves to purchase the factory and keep it running, possibly as a cooperative. Around 65 workers are occupying the building right now to back up that demand.
In 2008, UE workers occupied the same factory, then operated by Republic Window & Door, in protest of Republic's violation of federal labor law not giving the workers 60 days notice prior to the announcement of closure. The six day occupation ended in a settlement that amounted to $1.75 million.
Updates to follow in the comment section.
Twitter hashtag: #seriousoccupation
Republic Windows, redux? Workers occupy Goose Island plant
UE's Facebook page
Video by KenzoShibata
Occupy Chicago livestream