State, Chicago Threaten BoA Over Ill. Sit-in

Will yank business if bank doesn't restore window factory's credit
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 10:00 AM CST
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, center, and United Electrical Union Workers Local President Armando Robles, right, address the media about negotiations with Bank of America and Republic Windows and Doors.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – The sit-in launched by laid-off workers at a Chicago door and window factory could have a nine-figure financial impact on Bank of America. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a day before his arrest on corruption charges, called on state agencies to cease doing business with the bank, and the city of Chicago has threatened the same, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It is outrageous for Bank of America to cut off credit, a company's lifeblood, after receiving $15 billion of taxpayers' money," said one alderman.

Republic Windows & Doors told its employees last week that BOA had cut off financing and the factory would close. Since then, employees have occupied the factory in shifts, drawing support from the city, state, and even President-elect Barack Obama; the 240 workers are asking for a settlement of about $4,000 each. The value of Illinois’ business with the bank is valued in the hundreds of millions, and many state agencies have deposits with the bank.