Open and Shut Case at Window and Door Factory

Or is that a Shut and Open Case in a very real class war?

A company managed by the wife of Republic Windows and Doors owner Richard Gillman recently purchased an Iowa plant that manufactures similar products, according to public records.

Gillman has come under fire in recent days for abruptly closing Republic's Goose Island plant and refusing to provide workers there with the 60 days notice and pay required by federal labor law.

Echo Windows and Doors was created two weeks ago and lists Sharon Gillman as its manager, according copies of records obtained by the Daily News from the Iowa Secretary of the State. According to Cook County property tax records, Sharon Gillman is Richard Gillman's wife.

The couple purchased a $2.6 million Oak Street condo together in 2007, according to property records.

This is emblematic of the heartwarming story of lifestyles of the rich and blameless:

The Los Angeles Times covers the story through the lens of the disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street:

Here, in this corner of the recession, the standoff between the workers and Bank of America has quickly evolved into a symbol of the divide between the financial rescue plans for Wall Street and Main Street.


When they heard the news, some workers were furious. Others cried. Rangel panicked. His wife had been sick for weeks and had recently seen the family physician.

"I got a call from the doctors. The insurance company said they won't pay because the company canceled all our policies and didn't tell us," Rangel said. "I have a mortgage. I have a child. What do we do if he gets sick?"

While it wouldn't resolve the unethical behavior of people that run businesses in the same way as people like the Gillmans, single payer universal health care would help mitigate some of the inhumanity of it.

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well. So it turns out BofA may have been right in the first place: it's Republic's problem. Even so, BoA is 'extending credit' to Republic for the employees. 'Journamalism'. Gotta love it. Another story that got phoned in without deep background on the principals.

that BoA's new found interest in extending credit lies in a mix of CYA with the PR and wanting to be able to reason continuing business with the Gillmans and Ecko in Iowa? (Just taking a guess there...)

If it simply came down to the PR aspect I can't see them doing it. There has to be more of a profit motive behind it, IMHO. And YES! I am cynical. lol


Of course. But it's still a line of credit, not a cash outlay, and they seem to have made it clear to Republic that the money was for the workers. Gillman's the one in a box (see below), and IMHO BofA was just a sideshow.

My understanding is that there is an across-the-board credit freeze. Instead of the bailout money greasing the wheels to keep the ECONOMY, not the credit system, going then we will see industry shutdowns and a repeat of the situation that faced Roosevelt when he took office in 1933.  There are many unanswered questions here such as the alleged deal to bankrupt Republic and open a new factory elsewhere which would service the same market, but it is indisputable that funds should be made available to the workers who have not only lost their jobs but the severance pay that is their due by law. Furthermore, the Republic management say that they were refused the funds needed to allow them to make these payments. It seems like Republic is double-dealing, but then there needs to be legal action taken to protect the workers rights which might entail putting money in the hands of a third party who would oversee that the funds went to the workers.

Bank America received a $25 Billion bailout from the Treasury (if I remember the figure rightly, it may have been larger). Why shouldn't some of that money be deployed in situations that might be risky FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE BANK where however, not paying WOUILD POSE A GREATER RISK. Without funds to tide them over how will the workers be able to meet their food and housing bills.

MERRY XMAS --yeah right!


oh, and what do you propose to do about the workers... Christmas is coming, and the fat are getting goosed... the principals are at least three: banks on the public payroll because they're mismanaged, workers on the street, heading into foreclosures and worse, and obviously a third force equipped with comfortable chairs, and if you'll excuse me, a kind of cynical pov which isn't seasonal at all.

BofA has provided the loan/line-of-credit for the workers. I'm no happier than anyone else about the workers being stiffed by the *owners*. Further, as someone who has been actively looking for work in my trade for a very, very long time, and who is one of those on the bleeding f*cking edge of this meltdown, I *really* don't appreciate your 'comfortable chair' reference.

The fact the owner of the company was obviously screwing the workers by crossing a State line to open a new business is what I'd call a "material fact", and one left out of all previous coverage.

Cynical? Oh hell yes: who loaned them the money for Echo? When? How much? Under what terms? Are the new company's employees union? Moving to avoid payments, and reforming companies is a common occurrence in the construction business. Have the owners pulled this stunt before? If so, where? How long have they been in business? Previous lawsuits filed? Bankruptcies?

Given the timeline here, not having those answers is simply sloppy reporting, which up to this point diverted attention from the true 'guilty party'. However this turns out in the end, I believe the worker's will get their money - and before Christmas. But that has nothing to do with Bank of America's acceptance of Treasury's loan. And it damn sure has nothing to do with me.

Their offering loans to the workers? Oh hell no! What could be worse than burying these out of work people in debt when they don't even have a job now?

That is just freakin' adding insult to injury. 

Ok... "For the workers"... Not to the workers.

See comment above.

December 9th:

Bank Will Extend Credit to Resolve Factory Sit-In

Bank of America said it will extend credit to a Chicago window and door manufacturer whose workers have occupied the factory for five days.

On the second day of formal discussions, the bank said it was willing to
give the Republic Windows and Doors factory "a limited amount of
additional loans" so it can resolves claims of employees who have
staged a sit-in since Friday.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

IMO we all benefit from strong unions.


that Unions need to have more protection - nationally and internationally - if they are going to have a chance to deal fairly with owners that will just move on to avoid contracts that they supposedly sign "in good faith".