Serious Puts Plans to Close Chicago Plant on Hold

February 24, 2012

Union members at the one-time Republic Windows plant in Chicago once again held a sit-in yesterday after being told that Serious Energy would close the operations and consolidate its manufacturing at facilities in Pennsylvania and Colorado.  The sit-in ended this morning with an agreement to keep the operation open for 90 days, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Officials of the United Electrical Workers Local 110 told the newspaper that Serious has agreed to help them try and find a buyer for the Chicago operation.  "We are committed to finding a new buyer for the plant or if we can, buy the place ourselves and run it," said Armando Robles, head of the local union. "Either way, we are hopeful."

"Serious Energy and UE (United Electrical Workers Union) Local 1110 have reached an agreement to resolve yesterday's situation at the Chicago-based window facility," said Valerie Jenkins, Serious senior marketing officer in a statement posted on the company website. "Members of the press received incomplete and incorrect information that Serious Energy would be closing the facility immediately. The Chicago plant remains open at this time, and the parties are working together to find a new owner if possible and explore all other options. Both UE and Serious Energy apologize for any resulting confusion."

The recent events recall the situation at the end of 2008, when union workers at the Republic plant held a sit-in at the Chicago facility.  The union attracted national attention with their demands for severance and vacation pay after the company announced it would close its doors.  Serious Energy, then Serious Materials, eventually stepped in to purchase Republic's assets, bringing back many of the workers.