Although belated, I wanted to let you know how the sit-in sadcox originally wrote about on December 8th turned out. In late 2008, The Republic Windows & Doors plant in Chicago closed with no notice and workers staged a sit-in in an attempt to get money and benefits. Local and state politicians pressured one of the creditors, Bank of America, to lend more money so that the workers could be paid.
This circus played out for days on the national stage with employees and politicians blaming Bank of America for the workers plight. The irony is that, as the primary lender, Bank of America had likely already written off millions. Drawn by the limelight, several democrats jumped on their respective soapboxes and claimed that Bank of America was responsible because they refused to give Republic Windows & Doors.
I am confused, I thought we were capitalists? Now that we have proven without a doubt that it’s a bad idea to force banks to loan money to individuals and companies who are incapable of repaying it, why were Illinois politicians trying to force Bank of America to give more money to a company that can’t possibly repay it? Apparently, the federal bail out money gave them the right. Republic Windows & Doors employees and the politicians supporting their cause claimed that this was how the bail out money should be used. Ultimately, Bank of America caved to the pressure and actually coughed up an additional $1.75 million to put the negative publicity to an end. Local papers and “labor experts” hailed it as a victory for workers and said it would set an example for others faced with abrupt layoffs. I’m certainly hoping it doesn’t set a precedent or Obama will need a lot more of your money and mine.
Now for the punch line, it turns out that JP Morgan Chase is actually a 40% owner of Republic Windows & Doors. Where were they when their competitor, Bank of America, was getting bloodied and bruised in the national media? JP Morgan Chase stood by and let Bank of America take a beating. They quietly joined discussions when Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s arrest took over the headlines. Chase generously pledged $400k to help the Republic Windows & Doors employees. Let me get this straight, the lender gave away $1.75 million and the 40% owner only coughed up $400k? Wow, it’s almost as if JP Morgan Chase had a guardian angel looking out for them. They did, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. I forgot to mention that the Chairman of Midwest Chase is Dick’s brother William Daley? It was shocking that all of the Democrats supporting Republic Windows & Doors chose to focus on Bank of America rather than Chase. That’s business, the Chicago way. Just wait America, you ain’t seen nothing yet.