Illinois’ attorney general is investigating the sudden closure of a Republic Window & Doors plant in Chicago, where union leaders, politicians and even President-elect Barack Obama rallied behind workers of the construction supplier. More than 200 employees staged a sit-in on the factory floor over several days following Republic’s shutdown on Dec. 5. Workers alleged the company laid them off with only three days’ notice, far short of the 60 days required under federal law, and refused to pay wages and other benefits stipulated in their contracts. The company allegedly told employees that its creditor, Bank of America, refused to authorize expenses amid frozen sales and a liquidation of factory equipment. Workers took aim at October’s federal bank bailout, and in response to the standoff, the bank offered to release “a limited amount of additional loans” to satisfy the workers. “You got bailed out. We got sold out,” read signs held at the picket line.

After Protest, Bank of America Offers Loans to Window Maker
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