UE Local 1110 Files Charges Against Republic Windows

January 5, 2009
At the press conference ...
UE Local 1110 member Ron Bender talks to a reporter about charges being filed against Republic Windows and Doors.

UE Local 1110 members who occupied their factory late last year are asking for a court-ordered injunction through the National Labor Relations Board to require the plant's owner to return equipment removed from the factory.

Employees of Republic Windows and Doors, filed charges against their employer on Tuesday morning, alleging violations of their collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations act.

"UE [United Electrical Workers union] wants Rich Gillman, former president of Republic Windows and Doors, to be held accountable for the illegal acts we believe he committed related to the closure of Republic Windows and Doors," said field organizer Leah Fried.

The charges allege that Republic violated their rights by failing and refusing to give the union proper notice of the plan to close its doors or negotiate over the closure.

The union also claims that the closure was not done in good faith, rather the company moved operations, machinery and clients to an Iowa factory where workers are paid less.

"Gillman refused to inform workers and bargain with the union regarding his plans to move production to his new factory Echo Windows where he employs workers through a temporary agency at $8/hr," said Fried.

The union believes that their former employer, Richard Gillman, improperly took equipment from Republic Windows and Doors in order to set up a new company, Echo Windows, which is now producing a similar product in Red Oak, IA .

"We are asking the Labor Board to demand the return of the machinery, the clients, and the jobs to Chicago," said Laurie Burgess, an Attorney representing the workers. "This will enable the Union to then negotiate with the employer regarding their bargaining unit members' rights."

The union believes that an injunction to return the machinery removed from the factory back to the Goose Island facility will increase the ability of the factory to be bought and re-opened with different management.

Members of United Electrical Workers Local 1110, engaged in a peaceful factory occupation for six days in early December after their employer, Republic Windows and Doors, announced with three days notice they would be shutting down operations. Workers suceeded in winning vacation, severance and insurance owed to them.

"We workers want justice, said Armando Robles, President of UE Local 1110. "That is why we are charging the owner of Republic Windows for moving the operations without discussing it with the union."


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