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Union workers say funds were mishandled

CHICAGO, April 6 (UPI) -- Union workers in Chicago are complaining funds raised during a six-day sit-in that garnered national attention were diverted from their intended use.

Rebuffed by the National Labor Relations Board, members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America plan to take their complaints to the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Chi-Town Daily News reported Monday.

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Workers said funds raised the during the sit-in -- staged in December after Republic Windows and Doors unexpectedly closed its plant -- were meant to support workers displaced by the closing.

The union's leadership said the charges were unfounded.

"UE is a democratic union. Workers decide by a vote how to use our funds and we have voted to use our resources to get people back to work. In addition to monthly financial reports, all members are welcome to review our books if they have questions," said Armando Robles, president of UE Local 1110 and a maintenance mechanic at the factory.

A California company, Serious Materials, has agreed to reopen the plant and hire the laid-off workers at previous wages, union organizer Leah Fried said.

National Labor Relations Board attorney Richard Kelliher-Paz said the NLRB dismissed the complaint last week, but he could not provide details on the ruling, Chi-Town Daily News said.

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