Writing in The Nation, Laura Flanders covers the opening of New Era Windows in Chicago. After their former employer, Republic Windows and Doors, closed the plant and fired the staff, the workers occupied the plant. Eventually they were able to take ownership of it and, with the help of the broader cooperative movement around the country, re-opened it as a worker-owned cooperative!
The workers in this story are members of the same workforce who, when they received word that their plant was about to be closed with no notice at what was then the Republic Windows and Doors factory in 2008, occupied their plant and became a cause célèbre in a grim winter of mass layoffs. When they were laid off again in early 2012, by a second owner, they decided, as Apple would say, to “think different.” With encouragement from their union, the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), and The Working World, a progressive investment group that helps co-operative start-ups internationally, they formed a company, “New Era LLC.” New Era is 100 percent owned by workers and now, at last, open for business.
Below is a great video piece on the opening. Click here to read the full article.