On June 2, United Electrical (UE) members at Quad Cities Die Casting, along with members of the community, served Wells Fargo with a notice of default on the bank’s obligations to the U.S. working people. Wells Fargo is liquidating their factory and throwing 100 people out of work after 60 years of business.
Keith Scribner, a 19-year employee and president of UE Local 1174, said it simply in front of the Wells Fargo doors where the workers posted their demands, “Keep the financing going instead of closing.” Workers like Deb Johann, who has worked at Quad City Die Casting for 31 years, told the large crowd, “Keeping the money is shameful,” referring to the $25 billion of federal bailout funds sent in to Wells Fargo for just these kinds of cases. The rally included other union workers from AFSCME Council 31, the sheet metal workers and the Quad City Federation of Labor. Every media outlet in town covered the militant action.
Many of the workers spoke about the inspiration that they have gotten from the Republic Window and Door victories. In fact, on June 11 Quad Cities Die Casting workers from Moline will join their fellow UE Republic Window workers at a rally in Chicago. They also see their fight very much connected to the folks at Hartmarx, a Chicago-based suit maker that owns Seaford Clothing in Rock Island. They are also fighting for Wells Fargo to do the right thing on a bigger scale.
The Quad City Die Casting workers have been given notice of the plant closing on July 12. They have watched countless companies close around them and the terrible effect it has had on their city. These same Quad Cities Die Casting workers fought just a few years ago in a pitched lockout battle. The company has loyal customers that can help get the company profitable again.
Everybody in the country stands to gain from the efforts of these brave workers. And Quad Cities Die Casting workers, like Helen Ptacek, Keith Scribner, Deb Johann and others, are inviting even more people to back them up.