Republic Windows and BofA – Why Not Us?

Your cruise director has received lots of e-mail over the past few days discussing the Republic Windows & Doors situation here in Chicago (see news articles here if you aren’t in the loop) and why the same type of resolution can’t be worked out for us.  

One reader suggested that our case might garner less sympathy since we worked for a law firm.  I am of the opposite mind – we should garner more sympathy for having worked with legal practitioners who knew the law but decided to break it anyway.  We know what it is like to work in a law firm and especially at a firm like Heller which always espoused its “fighting for the underdog, the disadvantaged” through its pro bono work, yet when it comes to fighting for its own with the same zeal, that drive suddenly goes *poof*.  Is it because they think they can get away with it? Or perhaps taking care of its loyal employees just doesn’t get the media attention that being a “do-gooder” for the poor or disabled does.  I don’t get it.

Jayne Loughrey, the goddess of the Brobeck wars, made a great suggestion in the comments: now is the time to rally together and start a blitz.  By blitz I think she means the following:

– troll the Web for news articles about Republic Windows and briefly state the Heller story with a link back to Heller Highwater

– also look for blog posts related to Republic Windows as well as Heller.  Use Google’s blog search and sort by date for the best results.  Remember to always link back to Heller Highwater in any comments or email.

– contact local politicians in regards to bank bailouts and the role these banks have played in not allowing Heller employees to be paid.  In the Republic Windows & Doors case, politicians gathered like flies on a t*rd for this one.  Contact via telephone would be more effective.

Rallying has been one of our problems here on Heller Highwater.  There has been quite a bit of devisiveness over the class action lawsuit via email and comments.  If we can put this behind us for the time being, let’s try to pull together and get this blitz going.

If you are on Twitter, follow me here and let’s start tweeting about the Heller situation.  You’d be amazed at what we can accomplish in short order – many movements have gotten started simply through Web 2.0 and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

Anyone else with me on this one?


6 Responses to “Republic Windows and BofA – Why Not Us?”

  1. 1 Anon West Coast 10 December 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Drone’s suggestion of contacting politicians is a good one, but won’t do much unless a decent number of us act on it. I’ve contacted Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Boxer; we’ll see what happens.

  2. 2 Jayne Loughry 10 December 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Glad you like the suggestion, Thomas. It seems to me . . .

    The press jumped on the Republic workers story, but they’ve yet to figure out that there’s another, perhaps bigger, story about employers and banks all across the country willfully violating state and federal labor laws. It’s not just Republic and Heller, it’s happening all over the place. Employers are stiffing laid-off employees on owed WARN and accrued vacation because they thought they could get away with it. And, until the gutsy action by the Republic workers, they have been getting away with it. The Republic workers (bless them) threw a giant spotlight on the problem. Because of them, millions more people now know what WARN stands for, now know that it’s illegal not to pay accrued vacation, and can now understand that what’s happening to you is wrong.

    I don’t believe it’s a blue collar vs. white collar thing. Right now there is huge interest in and sympathy for laid-off workers regardless of the color of their collars. Right now is the time to jump into the spot light the Republic workers have given to you. Tell the world your story, let them know that this is a wide-spread problem, that it can happen to any worker at any kind of business. And when you contact politicians ask that they beef up enforcement of WARN and state labor laws.

    Don’t wait for others to find and help you. Act now.

  3. 3 Lola Falana 10 December 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Its my understanding that the bank pulled out all of the monies in all of HE’s accounts, w/o notice today, might have something to do with the lawsuit 333 bush st, in any event the next round of people to leave is 12/31.

    Richard Holdrup has been gone. Carey Allen took over but then he left so now they have a replacement of the replacement Ken something or another, funny thibg is he works for Robert Half Accountants, so he is on a contract.

  4. 4 concerned 11 December 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I’m all for contacting our respective politicians — local level to federal level — and I have done so today. Thanks for the idea. Why don’t we contact news outlets (print and broadcast) in our respective cities? Point them to this blog, talk to them personally, etc. It’s worth a shot and the least it will do is embarrass the banks. Additional bad press is a good way to force their hand.

  5. 5 Anon West Coast 17 December 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Congresswoman Eshoo’s office called me today. She isn’t intervening, but I did think it was notable that she had her office call me, since the other pols I wrote to sent a form email as a reply. If she’s your congressperson, you may want to try contacting her office, since it seems like our situation, at the very least, caught her eye.

  6. 6 Another Former Associate 18 December 2008 at 1:39 am

    Much better, I think, would be to send letters (which can be done by email) to the press:
    Wall Street Journal
    New York Times
    Los Angeles Times

    It seems that bad publicity was what moved B of A in the Republic Window matter.

    And if anybody has the spirit for a sit-in, B of A main branch at the corner of Montgomery and California would be a good spot for it. I even tend to think it might have some effect. But you have to be willing to risk getting arrested, and an active bank branch is a site where police tolerance would likely be lower than at the closed Republic Window factory.

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