Posted by: Patrick Barbanes | December 8, 2008

The Plot Thickens As Laid-Off Workers Continue Sit-in

Cut to the chase: Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago funding is cut-off by Bank of America. Republic announces they are shutting down, and lays off it’s 300-some workers. The workers stage a sit-in, demanding their severance.

But it looks like the owners of Republic Window and Doors are pulling an okey-doke. Are bamboozling the Chicago workers.

Because last month, they’d apparently gone out and formed another window and door company, Echo Windows and Doors, and plan to use a plant in Iowa. Here’s the investigative work from the Chicago Tribune:

People who apparently have ties to the financially strapped Republic Windows formed a limited liability corporation in Illinois last month, Echo Windows & Doors, that has bought a similar plant in western Iowa.

Sharon Gillman, who shares an address with Republic President and CEO Rich Gillman, is listed as an officer of Echo Windows & Doors LLC, which was incorporated in Illinois on Nov. 18, according to secretary of state records.

Neither she nor Rich Gillman could be reached for comment on Sunday. A secretary who answered the phone at the Iowa plant purchased by Echo said Rich Gillman was not in on Sunday, and that she did not know when he would be in.

An “echowindows.com” Internet domain has been registered, but no content has been placed on the site. The administrative contact on the domain registration is Amy Zimmerman—the same name as the vice president of sales and marketing at Republic.

Echo Windows officials told employees at the former TRACO manufacturing plant in Red Oak, Iowa, on Thursday that the workforce would be doubled from the current 50 employees because they have production orders lined up.

You can read the full article about Republic Windows and Echo Windows here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-window-company-protest-08-dec08,0,622291.story

Moral of the story for the owners of Republic Windows and Doors (the Gillmans?): workers are dispensable. And if we can lay them off and get away with not paying them their earned wages and severance, that’s ok, too.

And here’s a question: if Bank of America wouldn’t lend them money to keep Republic Windows and Doors open, who is providing the financing for Echo Windows and Doors?

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Responses

  1. I can’t wait to see the resolution of this saga.


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