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Republic Workers End Sit-In, Claim Victory

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 11, 2008 3:15PM

2008_12_11_republic.jpgAfter a six day sit-in by workers at the Republic Windows and Doors factory, an agreement to end the protest was reached. The workers approved a $1.75 million deal which will pay each worker eight weeks' salary, all accrued vacation pay and two months' paid health care. Late last night the workers voted unanimously to end the strike after a 20-hour negotiation involving union members, Republic management, members from the lender companies, and others such as U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez. We mentioned the $400,000 from JP Morgan Chase that was put towards the deal; in addition, Bank of America has agreed to loan Republic management another $1.35 million.

Armando Robles, president of the plant's union, said, "The occupation is over. We have achieved victory. We said we will not go until we got justice and we have it." Gutierrez added, "Federal law was established, and today we made sure that federal law was respected here in Chicago." Bank of America had cut the company's line of credit last week, forcing the factory to close on short notice, all in spite of receiving billions of dollars in the recent financial bailout package. Union officials say they may try to figure out a way to reopen the plant under new management.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert