BO’s Broken Window Company — And His Larger, More Serious Damage
On February 23, a California-based company which owns a window manufacturing plant in Chicago announced that it would close the facility because of poor business conditions, specifically citing “ongoing economic challenges in construction and building products, collapse in demand for window products, difficulty in obtaining favorable lease terms, high leasing and utility costs and taxes, and a range of other factors.”
The very next day, the company, Serious Energy, Inc., went all Orwell:
Members of the press received incomplete and incorrect information that Serious Energy would be closing the facility immediately. The Chicago plant remains open at this time, and the parties are working together to find a new owner if possible and explore all other options. Both UE and Serious Energy apologize for any resulting confusion.
“UE” is United Electrical Workers Union Local 1110. Serious Energy made no mention of what drove the change which it said wasn’t a change but really was, namely that shortly after its original announcement, “about 65 people, mostly employees, locked themselves inside the 268,000-square-foot facility.” In other words, the union and its workers re-occupied the plant.
That’s right, they “re-occupied” it. The plant’s original occupation, in many respects the precursor of the lawless Occupy movement which “somehow” appeared in September of last year, came in December 2008. That’s when its then-owner, Republic Windows and Doors, having lost $10 million in the past two years, told employees that it would close the plant in three days. Workers “occupied the building,” and said they wouldn’t leave “without assurances they’ll receive severance and vacation pay.”
Bank of America, which had cut off the company’s credit line because of its deteriorating financial condition, was unfortunately but understandably intimidated by the assemblage of politicians, activists, and leftist rabble which had gravitated to what they thought might be the start of a movement. As a result, six days later, it made “an additional loan” (the bank’s words) of $1.35 million to make the problem go away. For some reason, J.P. Morgan Chase also “pledged” $400,000.
The Associated Press’s headline called this result “successful.” In reality, it may be the most costly $1.75 million shakedown ever conducted — if not for the workers, certainly for their nation.
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