|Chicago Press Conference: Melvin Maclin, Vicente Rangel and Armando Robles look on as a California company announces it wants to reopen the Republic Windows and Doors Plant. The bankruptcy court has to approve any sale.|
|UE Local 1110 member Ron Bender talks to a reporter about charges being filed against Republic Windows and Doors.|
UE Local 1110 members who occupied their factory late last year are asking for a court-ordered injunction through the National Labor Relations Board to require the plant's owner to return equipment removed from the factory.
In an article posted on its website on New Year’s Eve, The Nation, highly-respected weekly magazine on the political left, named the “Most Valuable Progressives of 2008." In this year-end round-up of exemplary activism, The Nation’s Washington correspondent John Nichols placed UE at the top of an impressive list of agents for positive change.
UE Local 150 members in North Carolina are celebrating a major victory for labor in that state. On December 10 and 11, culminating a 16-year organizing struggle, workers at Smithfield Foods' giant meatpacking plant in Tar Heel voted 2,041 to 1,879 to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). The plant, largest of its kind in the U.S., slaughters 32,000 hogs a day.
Members of UE Local 234 ratified a new three-year agreement on October 31, covering workers in both the factory and office bargaining units at Fairbanks Scales. The company had agreed to release members from work early, with pay, to attend the ratification meeting. In a somewhat unusual development, the company delivered its final offer after the members had gathered for the meeting and were waiting to vote. After a short discussion with the membership and the contract due to expire at midnight they voted by secret ballot to accept the company’s offer.
Over the five days of the Republic plant occupation in Chicago, messages of solidarity poured in from around the world. Individual workers, organizations, labor unions and federations sent emails and letters of solidarity.
CHICAGO - 8:25 p.m. CST
Negotiations on behalf of UE Local 1110 members occupying the Republic Doors and Windows plant have concluded, with the UE negotiating committee heading back to the plant to discuss bargaining results with the 260 workers who have occupied the plant in shifts since Friday night.
Bargaining began for the third day this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. with all of the parties involved in the occupation, including Bank of America.
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.
'We Did It!'
Following the vote, the UE members, led by Local President Armando Robles, marched out of the plant, chanting “Yes, we did!” in English and Spanish.
CHICAGO - 6:00 p.m. CST
Negotiations between UE Local 1110 at Republic Windows and Bank of America resumed today at 1:00 p.m.
The UE negotiation committee has not returned to the plant at this hour.
We will do our best to keep you informed.