Workers' Republic

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“Workers' Republic” documents what happened when Chicago company Republic Windows and Doors announced the factory's closure and informed the workforce they would not be receiving their last weeks pay, accrued vacation pay, or severance and that their insurance benefits had been immediately cut. Instead of accepting this, the workers occupied the factory and refused to leave until they got paid what they had earned. The occupation and solidarity actions went on for nearly a week.

“Workers' Republic” conveys the courage, the creativity, and the solidarity of those window-builders who vowed to stand up for their rights. From the opening moments to the eventual victory, and culminating in the surprise fate of the Chicago factory, the film shows radical action can be a solution to exploitation.

Filmmaker Andrew Friend has assembled the accounts of several of the main fighters in the Republic struggle, including front line workers, the organizers of their small union, and a few of the thousands of people that supported them through small acts of solidarity. (information from

The film won the JOHN MICHAELS HUMAN RIGHTS FILM AWARD at the 32nd annual Big Muddy Film Festival in Feb. 2010.