Two former Republic Windows and Doors workers who accused their union of fiscal mismanagement say they will press their case to labor regulators in Washington.
The workers filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board in connection with their union's handling of a donation fund set up for members laid off when the Republic plant closed.
Their complaints accuse UE Local 1110 of failing to disclose how much money was raised for the workers. The local was also accused of using the money to support a tour by a select group of workers, rather than to provide benefits to those left unemployed by the shutdown.
The Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board ruled against the workers. They now have until next week to press their complaint with the NLRB in Washington, says Julie Santos, Midwest commissioner for the advocacy organization League of United Latin American Citizens.
The league is advising the former workers on their case.
Republic made headlines last year when the company closed the Goose Island plant without notifying workers, and briefly relocated the operation to Red Oak, Iowa. A six-day sit in followed. Workers were eventually given legally mandated severance packages.
Officials for the local have denied any inproprieties, and welcomed the NLRB's decision as a sign that there was no merit to the charges brought by two former workers.
Staff Writer Fernando Diaz covers labor and unions for the Daily News. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 14, or fernando [at] chitowndailynews [dot] org.