Sunday, December 7, 2008

Distressed Assets and Bodies on the Line

Three cheers for the workers at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago! They knew they were being laid off, but had been promised 60 days' severance pay by their employer. Republic later told the workers that the company creditor, Bank of America, would not allow them to make good on the severance package. So the employees just moved in and made themselves comfortable. They pledge not to budge until Congress makes a stipulation in the $25 billion bailout of BoA that the bank make good on any pledges its debtors may have made to employees or the community.

This should be our model for 2009! Creditors do not own distressed corporate assets, and neither do corporate shareholders. They are owned by the people that work there. Let's bring back some 1930s power and make nonviolent occupations of the billions of dollars worth of hard assets in the U.S. and other companies. Hell, UAW could use this as a model for Detroit. The way to insure that bailouts go to middle-class people, and not to banks or corporate shareholders, is to grab the freakin' football and not let anyone else play. If the big shots call the cops or National Guard, they end up looking like thugs. This way, we force fairness and everyone wins.

WEIRD-ASS UPDATE OF THE WEEK: On Monday night, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced that the state would halt all business with BofA, because the bank would not sit in on talks with the union and Republic. On Tuesday morning, Dec. 9, Blagojevich was arrested by Bush Justice Department officials on charges of corruption related to the replacement senator for the seat vacated by Barack Obama. None dare call it coincidence.

5 comments:

Sharon said...

Brilliant!

Loring Wirbel said...

And Jessie Jackson showed up today and called it a "defining moment, like Rosa Parks, and workers across this nation should seize the assets in offices and factories if commercial banks take away their livelihood." And there was a UAW car caravan from Detroit today, going to Washington to urge the forced removal of the Big Three CEOs, and a breakaway group started hollering "Remember Republic! Seize the plant!" This is getting exciting.

Ruth said...

When it's meant to happen, when things ripen just right, then it happens, and it almost feels like we are brought to this moment for a new age. Everything had to be in place for people to revolt. It is very exciting.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, this is precisely what we were talking about in 2002, when the arrest of the three nuns at the missile silo in Colorado suddenly sparked a huge media interest which had not been shown in several nearly-identical events in previous years. Sometimes, you try and try and try a tactic and nothing changes, and then suddenly for no particular rhyme or reason something takes off. That seems to be precisely what is going on with the Republic Windows event.

Ruth said...

Such is history. Such are scientific discoveries. Such is life, and death. A series of connected events that suddenly combust!