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Chicago Factory Occupation

Written by Wanda Pasz Sunday, 07 December 2008

CHICAGO (AP) Workers laid off from their jobs at a factory have occupied the building and are demanding assurances they'll get severance and vacation pay that they say they are owed. About 200 employees of Republic Windows and Doors began their sit-in Friday, the last scheduled day of the plant's operation.Leah Fried, an organizer with the United Electrical Workers, said the Chicago-based vinyl window manufacturer failed to give 60 days' notice required by law before shutting down. Workers also were angered when company officials didn't show up for a meeting Friday that had been arranged by U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, she said.

During the peaceful takeover, workers have been shoveling snow and cleaning the building, Fried said. "It's a rarely used tactic," Fried said. "But we're in very drastic time and the workers have taken measures necessary to win what they're owed." Representatives of Republic Windows did not immediately respond Saturday to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

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