FIST Statement Supporting Republic Workers in Chicago Occupying Factory

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) youth group applauds the workers at Republic Windows and Doors for their bold action to occupy the plant, instead of walking off the job feeling dejected when management decided to close the factory and lay them off without the required by law 60 day notification or 60 days pay. We also applaud UE for backing up the workers.

We support the call made by the Bail Out the People Movement including the Dec. 8-13 days of action for protests in front of your local Bank of America office or building. The BOPM call also states, “Support the demands of the Republic Windows and Doors: management must meet with the workers; workers must receive 60 days full pay; and no repression against the workers, no attempts to remove, arrest or charge them”.

The workers’ decisive action may become the tinderbox of a broad fightback against the misery and despair foisted upon workers and the oppressed, culled together by the objective nature of a system based on exploitation so that a small group of people can reap greater and greater profit.

But, what’s more, it illuminates perfectly what should become a mantra for our struggle during these times, “Bail out the workers, not the banks!”

It is Bank of America, after having received $25 billion dollars in federal monies–money taken from workers and the oppressed via taxes–that is refusing to release the loan money to Republic that should be used to pay the workers.

Republic Windows and Doors thought it could close up the factory, after having sold the land and move to a place further south to get cheaper labor; they also must have thought that the workers would walk away hanging their heads. This would be understandable, as workers are being battered by the economic crisis. The owners of companies and the U.S. government are both heaping the brunt of hardship on the backs of all workers and the oppressed.

The workers at Republic had a different idea and upped the ante, taking their immediate future in their own hands. What they are really asking for is very little, 60 days pay guaranteed by law. What they deserve is the run of the factory and all the things by which the products are produced.

FIST stands in solidarity and calls on all people, students, youth and other workers and oppressed people to stand up and support the workers at Republic Windows and Doors. Their action may be decisive and may inspire workers at GM, Chrysler and Ford to occupy the factories; students facing higher tuition to occupy their campuses, and people being kicked out of their homes to occupy their homes with allies and neighbors.

Instead of bailing out the banks–the billions of bailout money for banks and automakers, and the money being spent to wage imperialist wars–should go to those who create all wealth for jobs, healthcare, housing and education.

These are demands that we should fight for and win by any means necessary!

Be like the workers at Republic Windows and Doors,

Seize the time!

All power to the people!

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together

December 7th 2008


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