Republic Sit-in May Suggest Union Resurgence | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Republic Sit-in May Suggest Union Resurgence

President-elect Barack Obama yesterday warned that without swift federal action, the economy could go from bad to worse.  According to new figures released this morning, unemployment reached the highest it's been since the beginning of 1993. Such numbers, and the politics of today, make for a climate ripe for labor activism.

Last month, workers at a Chicago factory staged a sit-in when they were laid off without severance pay. The standoff at Republic Windows and Doors won employees the severance they demanded while gaining national attention and comparisons to the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. Bob Bruno is Professor of Labor Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He says the comparisons to Haymarket may be overdrawn, but the Republic action and its success do suggest that something bigger is going on.

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