The Quad City Die Casting factory, which makes liquid metal molds for Kawasaki, John Deere and other companies, was profitable until the fall of 2008. But then, management informed the nearly 100 workers that the factory would close because Wells Fargo declined to extend credit, according to Leah Fried, organizer for Local 1174 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.
She said the union, representing 80 members at the factory, filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the company denied vacation and health insurance benefits to them.
"The workers are asking Wells Fargo to cooperate with the process so the factory can be sold and people can keep working," said Fried. "Workers are willing to do whatever's necessary, including a plant occupation."
On July 7, workers protested in front of a Wells Fargo bank in nearby Rock Island. Twelve of the workers were arrested for blocking a road, to signify that "Wells Fargo is a roadblock to recovery," said Fried.
The fate of the workers and the factory is uncertain. Wells Fargo declined to comment.
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