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December 8th, 2008
08:36 AM ET

Morning Buzz: I'm not leaving my job!

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/12/08/chicago.labor.protest/art.factory.one.gi.jpg caption="Workers occupy the Republic Windows and Doors factory on Saturday, December 6, in Chicago, Illinois."]

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Talk about hanging on for dear life: workers laid off Friday from a company in Chicago called Republic Windows and Doors refuse to leave after their bosses told them the factory was closing. For years, these workers assembled vinyl windows and sliding doors, and they are now staging a “peaceful occupation” of the factory.

They say bosses only gave them 3 days’ notice and not the 60 days required by fed law + are owed vacation and severance pay. They're also angry because Bank of America, a lender to their company, is a recipient of the recent gov't bailout. Gary Tuchman flew out there last night, and he will have this story tonight.

P-E Obama said the economy would get worse before it gets better. Given such high expectations for him once he hits office in January, it’s no wonder he offers a reality check. He announced that he will craft a plan to upgrade and/or repair the nation’s public infrastructure to create jobs and jump start the economy, so if your roads need new pavement or the bridges in your state are looking rusty these days, it looks like a facelift for them may be coming soon.

More developments on the auto bailout this morning, Obama supports one but says Congress was right in drafting legislation that holds Detroit’s feet to the fire. Sen. Dodd came out and said one condition should be a change in leadership at GM. Ali Velshi will have the latest.

Nic Robertson got himself aboard a NATO warship patrolling waters that pirates have been targeting lately. Luckily, Nic hasn’t run into any pirates himself yet, and he might join us later tonight to tell us what NATO is doing to curb these pirate attacks.

Over the weekend Amy Poehler reprised her role as Sen. Hillary Clinton on SNL, her first appearance since giving birth on October 25th. She joked about the unflappable staying power of the Clintons- ain’t that the truth. And if you notice that our CNN logo is Green on our screen, it’s because all week we’ll be releasing excerpts from our latest installment of Planet in Peril which airs Thursday, and you get to see Anderson, Sanjay and Lisa Ling globetrotting to places that illustrate our top environmental priorities.

See u later tonight!


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

    Sometimes people are so narrow minded, Obama inherited the crisis we are in, he did not create it. Also check the history of Bank of America, in the past they were there when no one else was!

    December 8, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  2. Cal-G

    Gee, all this griping about Obama "stating the obvious" ... do I hear some sore loser McCain-heads here? I guess it should be no surprise they can't even give the man credit for keeping the public informed of his thoughts and plans even before entering office. There's just no pleasing these people.

    December 8, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  3. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I feel bad for the workers but when there is literally no money left – how can the company remain open much less pay them severance pay? I've always been an "at will" employee since I started working 12 years ago so I can be let go at anytime without reason or severance pay. This is life.

    December 8, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    So which is it Wall Street? A surge forward as PE Obama reveals his economic plan...or the "mood" set by PE Obama on Meet The Press, stating the obvious...things will get worse before they get better?

    December 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  5. Kim

    I love that Bank of America advertises themselves as the "Bank of Opportunity" and then pulls this stunt.

    Still waiting for my bailout.

    December 8, 2008 at 10:48 am |
  6. missy

    Most people are are hired by their company as "at will" employees, meaning a company can let them go on a moment's notice with no serverance and notice so anyone who gets any sort of notice or severance are "lucky", and they are careful to tell you that when they hire you.

    December 8, 2008 at 10:30 am |
  7. Heather,ca

    I have to tell you I think what happened to those workers is an outrage. I hope this company gets in big trouble with the state and feds for breaking the law. I respect what they are doing. I hope Gary gets some answers from the company.

    Oh how I love Amy Poehler and SNL. She looked great and always makes me laugh. She does Clinton so well. What a shame she wont be back again.

    December 8, 2008 at 10:15 am |
  8. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Good Morning Penny
    This story really is awful those poor people factory workers laid off from thier job thev've had for years.It's really hitting home for me as well the John Deere plant in Ontario has told us they are closing and 800 poeple will be losing thier jobs.It all just came out of the blue one day there was no warning .It's causing so much stress among all emplyees. I feel for these poor workers fighting to stay on the job during these troubled econmic times .

    Thanks for the buzz and for keeping them honest !
    Michelle D.

    December 8, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  9. earle,florida

    I'm a bit suprised that they were permanent hires. You see, for the last twenty-five years,the business mantra of all manufacturing/technical support /engineering,etc.,companies have been circumventing the law (temporary labor pool resource agencies) by hiring "Temp's" only,and renewing (fringe benefits/competitive wage virtually non- existence) contracts annually. If these "temp's" are lucky enough to get renewed contracts they must be to a permanent position,which is never been in the companies "Game Plan" from day one! Now,getting back to these Chicago individuals,there just voices crying in the wind,.....sadly it's a story (anti-union business axiom) thats been playing itself out in America, and appears to be winning hands down. Nice!!!

    December 8, 2008 at 9:22 am |
  10. Cindy

    I feel bad for the ones who lost their jobs in Chicago but they aren't the only ones. And just because the company didn't give them 60 days notice before laying them off means nothing. That may be the law but no company does that. If that law were upheld then most companies out there would be in serious trouble. They'll have to take the owners to court to get their severance pay and what ever else they are owed. Staying in the plant to protest won't get anything done.

    Now Obama is saying it's going to get worse before it gets better huh!? UHHH...like we didn't know that already! He's just covering his butt so when he gets into office and it gets worse he won't be blamed and can say see...I told you so.

    There should definitely be conditions put on the bailout of the big 3. We shouldn't just give them money to do with as they please. There should be conditions on every company that we bail out not just the auto industry.

    Cindy...Ga.

    December 8, 2008 at 8:56 am |