Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=109703
Story Retrieval Date: 6/19/2013 3:24:39 AM CST
Apolinar Cabrera and his wife are expecting their third child sometime in the next three weeks. The 17-year employee was one of more than 300 workers at Republic Windows and Doors to lose their jobs on Friday, but they are not giving up without a fight.
The workers at the Goose Island factory were informed Dec. 2 that they would be out of a job in three days. There would be no severance pay or compensation for unpaid vacation days. Insurance would be cut off.
“I hope for me and my family that this is going to be resolved soon, I am really worried,” Cabrera said.
The company was forced to shut its doors after Bank of America cut off its line of credit last week. Union organizers say that the money the bank recently received as part of the federal bailout package should be used to help the struggling workers.
Leah Fried, a union organizer, says that the workers fate is in the hands of the bank.
“They are the only one who can make financial decisions,” Fried said.
Many prominent Illinois politicians are lending their voices in support of the workers. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) visited the site Monday and President-elect Barack Obama said in a recent press conference that the workers should be treated fairly.
On Tuesday Bank of America said it may extended limited additional loans to the company to help resolve the employees sit-in, according to a press release on the bank’s Web site. The bank expressed concern about the company’s failure to pay the employees, but added that it’s up to the company to negotiate with the employees and their union.