Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Former Owner of Republic Windows Shutting Down Another Company, Laying Off 100 Workers!

If you dig deeply on the Internet, you might find coverage of a fascinating development in the Republic Windows and Doors saga. Richard Gillman, the former owner of the now bankrupt company recently announced that he is shutting down Echo Windows and Doors, an Iowa company he purchased after dumping his Chicago workforce. The plant closure will cost 100 workers their jobs.

Orthodox Narrative: Bank = Evil
While the ratings-hungry media, opportunistic politicians, and orthodox liberals bashed Bank of America for the plight of the workers at Republic Windows and Doors, I tried to push their criticism towards a more logical direction: Richard Gillman, the company's owner. Federal and state law require employers to provide notice of shut downs or massive layoffs, and employers are liable for paying the workers during the notice period. These laws, however, do not extend liability to an employer's creditors for satisfying these obligations. So when liberals blamed Bank of America and the bailout for the workers' unfortunate plight, their criticism was misdirected.

Progressives, however, argued that because Bank of America, one of the company's creditors, received TARP assistance, it must extend credit to the company regardless of its ability to repay the debt. The concerted effort to demonize Bank of America obscured the employer's liability to pay the workers. It also prevented substantial coverage of more ominous actions taken by the company -- namely, that after firing the Chicago workers, the company's owner executed a plan to purchase a similar company in Iowa with a nonunionized work force and a lower cost structure. The employer then skipped town, leaving behind its workforce without their legally mandated salary and benefits.

The company also left the City of Chicago despite the fact that it had received almost $10 million dollars in subsidies from the city a few years prior to the layoffs. The city hoped that increased tax revenue would ultimately pay for its investment in the company's expansion of its facilities. Alas, this will not happen.

Republic Windows Owner Brings Lay Offs to Iowa
Republic Windows is now in bankruptcy, but yesterday its former owner Richard Gillman announced more startling news: He is shutting down Echo Windows and Doors, his newly acquired Iowa factory, and laying off its 100 workers. A manager at the plant blames Gillman for the deterioration of the company:

Back in Iowa, plant manager Dwayne Adams criticized the ownership's operation.

"They … basically ran it into the ground, the way we see it," Adams said.
If the company can get an investor to pump $650,000 in financing, management predicts that it can stay afloat. Where's the angry anti-bank crowd today? On to more sensational issues, I suppose.

Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:

MADE IN IOWA: Did Company in Chicago Sit-In Illegally Discard Its Workers and Quietly Relocate While Liberals Forced BOA to Pay for the Shady Scheme?

Republic Windows and Doors Received a Bailout from Chicago Before It Bailed Out of Chicago

Laid-Off Republic Windows and Doors Workers: Pawns in Political Football

"Scratching and Surviving" Less Newsworthy Than Politicians at Labor Protests: Scant Media Coverage of Republic Windows Workers After Sit-In

Factory Closes in Chicago; Workers Invoke Bailout During Protest

What (I Think) Progressives Should Have Done for Workers of Republic Windows and Doors

New Chapter for Republic Windows: Bankruptcy

Workers of Republic Windows and Doors Finally Pursue the Culpable Party: Their Employer

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