Reaches $1.75 Million Settlement with Workers
Republic Windows and Doors has reached a settlement with its employees,
who've been occupying the plant since it closed on Friday, in which
they'll receive eight weeks of pay, two months continued health
coverage and pay for all accrued and unused vacation.
The settlement, which totals $1.75 million, was reached late last
night. Bank of America announced late Wednesday it was extending
a $1.35 million loan to Republic so it could pay employees.
JP Morgan Chase is also funding $400,000 of the agreement.
"We have worked with the company's management and other owners,
including Chase Capital Corp., to do the right thing for employees,"
says David Rudis, Illinois president for Bank of America.
"Compliance with the WARN Act is the responsibility of management
and owners," Rudis adds. "Although we are a lender with
no obligation to pay Republic's employees or make additional loans
to Republic, we agreed to extend an additional loan to be used exclusively
to pay its employees."
According to a statement from JP Morgan Chase, beginning in early
2007, Chase Capital Corp., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase &
Co., invested and lent $12 million to help Republic continue to
operate, becoming a minority investor in Republic. Chase Capital
anticipates no recovery on those loans and investments, company
A meeting between union workers from the company and bank officials
was held yesterday at 1 p.m. CST and negotiations went late into
The negotiation committee returned to the plant at around 8:25
p.m. CST to discuss the bargaining results with fellow employees.
No statement has yet been released by Republic regarding the recent
negotiations or settlement.
Republic announced last Wednesday that it would be closing its
doors two days later-on Friday, December 7. (CLICK
HERE for the union website, and CLICK
HERE for related story).
Republic issued a statement late Monday saying officials had known
since mid-October that the company would be closing, and that on
November 25, the company requested permission from the Bank of America
to issue vacation pay to all employees. According to Republic, that
request was rejected on November 26 (CLICK
HERE to read Monday's statement.).
Repeated attempts to reach Republic have been unsuccessful.
USGNN.com reported on Monday that Rich Gillman, Republic
president and CEO, was linked to a new window company, Echo Windows,
incorporated in the state of Illinois on November 18 (CLICK
HERE for that story). Republic issued a statement late Monday
about the closure that also made light of his involvement with Echo.
Just last Thursday-one day after the announcement that Republic
was closing-TRACO announced that it had sold its residential vinyl
replacement window business to then unknown Echo. (CLICK
HERE for that story).
The Republic story has garnered national attention, including that
of President-elect Barack Obama and the interest of all major news
HERE for related article from the New York Times.)
Alan Goldberg, contributing writer for USGlass magazine,
was at the Republic plant Monday to report on this story. Additional
reporting was done by USGlass contributing editors Penny
Stacey and Tara Taffera
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