Weekend Video: Workers’ Republic

afplivetwo737756-CORRECTION-US-ECONWhat would you do? Your boss gives you three days’ notice that your workplace is closing. You will be unemployed in a recession, without the severance the law says you deserve.

If you are the employees of Republic Windows and Doors… you fight back!

For six days in December of 2008, laid-off Chicago factory workers took over their closing workplace, declaring they would not leave until the owners and creditors agreed to pay them the severance they were owed. Republic’s credit line had been cut off by Bank of America, which had just received billions of dollars in federal bank bailout money.

Succeed or fail, these 260 workers decided, “If I don’t fight, I know I’ll lose. If I do fight, at least I stand a chance of winning.”

In these revolutionary times, when a new movement has risen from below to occupy Wall Street and expose the greed of bosses and banks, the workers of Republic are a beacon of hope and optimism, a microcosm of how everyday people may be the most qualified to forge a better world.

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