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.
Negotiations that began today at 1:00 p.m. between the UE Local 1110 bargaining committee, Republic Windows and Bank of America are still in progress. No settlement has been reached.
Yesterday, Bank of America issued a statement that it was willing to provide a "limited amount" of additional loans to Republic Windows and Doors to help resolve the plant occupation.
As most Americans who follow the news know by now, the members of UE Local 1110 have peacefully occupied the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago since the evening of Friday, December 5. That was the day when their plant suddenly closed and their jobs were taken from them, with only three days notice, and without paying workers the vacation they had earned and the 60 days pay that the company owes them for not giving the 60 days plant closing notice required by the WARN Act.
No final agreement was reached in bargaining on Tuesday involving UE Local 1110 members who have occupied their workplace, the Republic Windows plant, since Friday. Another negotiating session has been set for Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. (CST).
A statement issued late Tuesday night by the UE negotiating committee said, "Negotiations will resume tomorrow as the parties continue to work towards an agreement. Progress was made, and the bank and the Union are bargaining in good faith."
After meeting for more than three hours Monday with the owner of Republic Windows and representatives from the Bank of America, UE Local 1110 members said they were "cautiously optimistic" and looking forward to a second meeting set for 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.
"We had a good discussion and the beginning of a negotiation," reported UE Organizer Leah Fried following a briefing and discussion held with workers who have occupied the plant since last Friday. Fried added, "but we will continue to occupy the factory until a resolution is reached."
- When: Noon
Chicago City Hall
Outside of the City Council Chambers
- Who: 15 city aldermen and labor leaders from UE, the Chicago Federation of Labor and SEIU.
A contingent of 15 Chicago aldermen said today they will introduce an ordinance to require the city to stop doing any business with the Bank of America.