Former Republic Windows & Doors CEO Richard Gillman was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for stealing some $500,000 from the company. In addition to the prison time, Gillman, who was immediately taken into custody following his sentencing, was fined $100,000 for the one count of theft. Gillman could end up serving only half of his four-year sentence for good behavior.
In 2008, Republic Windows & Doors garnered national attention when some 200 of the plant's workers held a six-day sit-in and protest calling for severance and vacation pay after the company shut down without warning.
The United Electrical Workers Union released the following statement in response to the sentencing:
Five years ago today, Republic Windows and Doors closed, throwing 300 people out of work and launching the UE occupation of the factory demanding the pay and benefits they were owed by law. Today Republic Windows and Doors CEO, Rich Gillman has plead guilty to felony theft and financial crimes and will start serving a four year sentence and pay a $100,000 fine.
UE workers occupied Republic Windows and Doors for six days in 2008 securing a settlement of $1.75 million from Bank of America and Chase Bank meeting all the workers demands.
UE Local 1110 President Armando Robles said, 'More workers deserve this justice. Hundreds of working families have been suffering because of his actions, so in this case justice happened and it came because we organized. A group of us former workers have started a cooperative window factory, New Era Windows, to make sure we never again depend on bosses.'
'Due five years of hard work by Asst. States Attorney John Mahoney and his team along with investigative support from the CPD, we were able to win justice today. Too often financial crimes go unpunished, but when union workers fight back and have the support of a team like this, we can win justice,' said Carl Rosen, UE Western Region President.
New Era Windows Cooperative was founded in 2013 with 16 worker/owners and manufactures high quality windows.
Progress Illinois covered the Republic Windows saga closely, read more about the workers' fight here.