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Chicago factory sit-in ends with deal

Dec. 11, 2008 at 12:50 AM

CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A sit-in by workers unexpectedly laid off from a Chicago window factory ended Wednesday after a deal secured compensation for them, officials said.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the agreement provides that more than 200 unionized workers at Republic Windows and Doors, Inc. will receive their accrued vacation and 60 days of severance pay, Legal Newsline reported.

On Friday, the company unexpectedly announced it was closing after Bank of America cut its credit line. Worker who were given three days notice of their layoffs vowed to remain at the factory until they had assurances they would get money owed to them.

"It is absolutely critical that the men and women who worked for Republic Windows and Doors receive the compensation that they have earned," Madigan said.

After the labor dispute erupted, Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., made a $1.35 million loan to Republic so it could pay the workers for their accrued severance and holiday pay. An additional $400,000 in funding came from J.P. Morgan Chase, Legal Newsline said.

"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." said David Rudis, Illinois president for Bank of America.

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