Melinda Tuhus photo

A factory occupation by laid-off Chicago workers inspired union president Jerome Houser Monday night to vow to bring that same spirit of resistance to New Haven city government.

Houser (pictured), who heads the city’s blue-collar union, was among 100 union activists who showed up at First and Summerfield Church across from the Green Monday night. They came to hear firsthand the story of unionized workers the who sat in for six days at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago in December until their members got a fair settlement after a sudden layoff. Their story inspired a nation as a symbol of grassroots response to a recession fueled by a Wall Street collapse.

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