In a refreshing sign that workers aren't necessarily going to take layoffs laying* down, employees at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago responded to the plant's closing by sitting down rather than walking meekly out the door. Employers have been used to calling the shots about who works and who doesn't, who eats and who doesn't, and who has health insurance and who doesn't. That needs to change, and it needs to change now.
The Great Depression of the 1930s was a period of unprecedented worker militancy, and many of today's unions--despite their current emaciated, weakened state--got their start during those historic days. Unions could once again play a historic and heroic role, if they fight in the interests of the entire working population and not just their own narrow, ever decreasing ranks.
Photo: Strikers occupied the GM plant in Flint, Michigan, for 44 days between December 1936 and February 1937 (University of Michigan.)
*Update: In my zeal to make an alliterative pun, I made the kind of writing mistake I counsel my students against: Using the verb to lay, which means to put something down on something, instead of the verb to lie, which means to recline. Mea culpa!
Sitting down: a left perspective. It really won't do to rely solely on the capitalist press for information about this strike, so here is an account from the Socialist Worker online.