Saturday, January 17, 2009

Republic to re-open?...

The news from UE Local 1110 and Republic Windows and Doors just keeps getting better. It now looks like the union has helped find a buyer that will re-open the plant. I talked with Mark Meintster, UE International Rep. by phone yesterday about the situation. It looks like nothing will be confirmed till late next week, but as the information becomes available I will post it here. Here is the lastest UE press release...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: California company ready to purchase assets of Republic Windows and put employees back to work

Chicago, IL, January 14, 2009 - UE Local 1110 is pleased to announce that the leading company in the green window business, Sunnyvale, CA-based Serious Materials, is in the final stages of working out a purchase agreement of Republic Windows and Doors assets. Employees at the Goose Island factory staged a sit-in last month to win severance, health benefits and earned vacation pay. Though some details still need to be finalized, the union is told that the parties are very close to inking a deal. "We are all hopeful about the possibility of Serious reopening our plant. This would be a very happy ending to our struggle," said former Republic worker Melvin Maclin.

Serious Materials is a leading manufacturer of energy saving green building products. Their mission is to reduce greenhouse gasses by 1 Billion tons annually. "These are the green-collar jobs we need for the future of our community," said Armando Robles, former Republic maintenance worker. Serious Materials and the Union believe there is market in the Midwest for the energy efficient, super-insulating windows and commercial glass that Serious makes.Serious hopes, after a ramp-up period, to eventually hire all of the former Republic workforce. For that to happen, however, the bankruptcy court must act quickly. If the court allows too much time to pass, the business will evaporate and it will be difficult to re-hire anyone. "We hope that the creditors, trustee and judge will allow Serious to purchase the assets soon, so I and my co-workers can start making windows again," said Robles.

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