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Chicago Window Factory Where Workers Had Sit-In To Close

UPDATED 02/24/12 6:21 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Workers are engaged in another fight at the Goose Island window factory that drew national attention for a labor sit-in more than three years ago.

As WBBM Newsradio's John Waelti reports, around 65 workers staged a sit-in Thursday inside Serious Materials, which took over the Republic Windows and Doors factory in early 2009.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's John Waelti reports


The parent company, Serious Energy, informed workers earlier in the day it was shutting down, effective immediately. That news followed a round of layoffs two months ago.

Workers say they will stay and fight for their jobs, just like they did back in late 2008.

On that occasion, when workers occupied the factory for six days, demanding a chance to save their jobs. They won nearly $2 million in wages and benefits owed to them from Bank of America.

The workers won the support of then-President-elect Barack Obama. Their struggle also inspired a book, Revolt on Goose Island, by journalist Kari Lydersen.

Serious Energy re-opened the factory and hired them back. Then the upsetting news came Thursday about the factory's closure.

The company is planning on consolidating operations to two facilities in Pennsylvania and Colorado. But the Chicago workers said they have not been offered jobs at either plant.

"Workers demanded a chance to save these jobs and find a buyer or purchase the factory themselves and start a worker-run enterprise. Serious Energy refused. That same day workers voted to once again occupy their factory to win justice and jobs," the United Electrical Workers, which represents employees, said in a news release.

Raul Ramirez has worked at the factory since 1993.

"The situation is tough, you know? We've been here for so long. We've known each other for a long time. We love as a family here, and we're going to fight together," he said.


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