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News Link • Employee and Employer Relations

Republic Windows, redux? Workers occupy Goose Island plant

• By Alejandra Cancino
  group of about 65 workers who occupied a Goose Island window factory in 2008 have once again locked themselves inside the plant in a desperate move to save their jobs.

California-based Serious Energy said Thursday it is closing the plant's doors and consolidating operations in Colorado and Pennsylvania.

"Ongoing economic challenges in construction and building products, collapse in demand for window products, difficulty in obtaining favorable lease terms, high leasing and utility costs and taxes, and a range of other factors unrelated to labor costs, have compelled Serious to cease production at the Chicago facility," the company said in a statement.

Oscar Abarca, 64, said he got a call from union representatives this morning and was told not to leave the building when shift ended at 2 p.m.
He gathered with the other workers in the cafeteria for a few hours. Some played games or sat quietly to wait for news about their jobs. He needed some air and stepped outside. Police showed up, he said, and he wasn't allowed back in.

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