A Window Into the Pain People Are Feeling

Republic Windows & Doors and Bank of America are facing a stiff PR challenge from organized labor that seeks to paint them as modern day Scrooges.

According to Associated Press (and other sources) 200 factory workers are staging a sit in at Republic’s Chicago manufacturing plant, protesting their abrupt firing last week.
The workers–some of whom have 25 years of service at this company–are demanding severance and vacation pay, which they say is owed to them by law. Their struggle has brought media attention and led them to become a symbol for thousands of employees laid off nationwide as the economy continues to sour.
“We never expected this,” said Melvin Maclin, a factory employee and vice president of the local union that represents the workers. “We expected to go to jail.”
Leah Fried, an organizer for the United Electrical Workers union that represents the workers, said the company told the union that Bank of America has canceled its financing.
Bank of America received $25 billion as part of a government bailout. Some workers carried signs Sunday that said: “You got bailed out. We got sold out.”
The bank had said in a statement Saturday that it wasn’t responsible for Republic’s financial obligations to its employees. Republic has not commented on the sit-in.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.