Despite the well-deserved scorn the Reverend Jesse Jackson received after a hot mike caught the Rainbow-Push founder threatening to castrate Barack Obama, he has not faded away.
A quaint throwback to the 1930s, the sit-down strike, is back. Republic Windows and Doors of Chicago's North Side closed its doors a few days ago after the Bank of America cancelled Republic's line of credit. The collapse of the real estate market has wreaked havoc on all segments of the home building industry. All 300 employees of the plant, 260 of them union members, are out of work.
Today Jackson, and my congresscritter, Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston), visited the shuttered plant. Yes, television cameras were there.
The union members are represented by the United Electrical Workers, a group with a long history of far-Left politics.
The federal plant closing law, which mandates that employers give workers a 60 day notice before closing large facilities, doesn't apply here. Republic closed the factory because of the cancelled line of credit.
I have great sympathy for the former employees who've suddenly lost their jobs and their health care benefits. However, and I didn't know this until I read it in Peoria Pundit, but sit-down strikes don't occur much anymore because they are illegal.
That's something the union, Jackson, and Schakowsky, probably didn't mention while they were grandstanding on the North Side.
Republic's former employees aren't getting their jobs back. Their union needs to tell them that--and it needs to tell them to go home. I imagine the workers will do that on their own, but if they don't leave, they risk getting arrested for trespassing.
UPDATE 10:10am December 8: Illinois' embattled governor, Rod Blagojevich, who has been very media shy since US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald began closing the corruption ring around him, is expected to meet with the strikers any minute now.
President-elect Barack Obama has expressed support for the former employees.
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