Finally, there is some good news for former Quad City Die Casting employees. After wrangling with the now-defunct company's deep-pocketed creditor for nine months, Wells Fargo has finally agreed to fork over the vacation pay and medical expenses owed to the workers at the parts plant. In all, 70 former employees represented by the United Electrical Workers (UE) Local 1174 will collect $95,000 worth of vacation benefits and another $45,000 to cover medical bills, which employees racked up when the company abruptly pulled their insurance without any notice last May.
As regular readers may recall, the owners of the Moline-based company decided to shut down the 60 year-old plant last spring when Wells
Fargo cut off its financing. The company's workers -- along with Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and U.S. Rep. Phil Hare -- fought back in hopes that they could forge a resolution to keep the company operating. For them, the announcement of today's settlement is bittersweet. WQAD reports:
''This is not a celebration. This is not a great news day, but because
the people here fought hard, they got what's rightfully theirs, and
they still are out jobs, which is the more challenging news, so we want
to bring attention to this, said Giannoulias, who is now the Democratic
candidate for Senator in Illinois. ''We are like three levels below
what's even remotely fair for these families''.
Still, UE's Leah Fried tells us that the agreement is a victory nonetheless. "This really is a testament to the workers who stood together and wouldn't give up," she said. "They finally have some closure."