The original occupation: Ex-Republic Windows and Doors workers start cooperative

Yana Kunichoff | The Chicago Reporter

Before there was Occupy Wall Street or Occupy Chicago, a group of 250 workers in Chicago decided to occupy the factory they were working in as a protest to a planned closure. 

This week these same workers at the Goose Island windows factory have announced what may be the closing chapter in their occupation plans: they've started they're own cooperative in the hopes of buying the factory and equipment and becoming their own bosses.

The workers first occupied the plant for six days back in 2008 when their employer, Republic Windows and Doors, closed without giving them any notice, severance pay or accrued vacation time. The workers' actions won themselves severance and back pay.

A little more than three years later, they were in the headlines again for occupying the same factory, then owned by Serious Materials, now known as Series Energy, to keep it from shutting its doors. 

Their second occupation, which lasted only 12 hours, got them a promise to keep the factory open an additional 90 days and that the company to look for a new owner.

Read More at Chicago Muckrakers blog


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