Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bank deal ends US factory sit-in

Workers demonstrating on 10 December
The protests have received huge coverage in the US

Demonstrating workers at an Illinois factory have ended their six-day sit-in after reaching a $1.75m (1.17m) agreement with creditor banks.

About 200 staff had been occupying Republic Windows and Doors since being laid off with only three days' notice.

They will receive eight weeks' salary and healthcare benefits and pay for any unused holiday time.

The protest came to symbolise the resentment of those who felt banks were not passing on their bail-out benefits.

The total cost was covered by a $1.35m loan from Bank of America and a $400,000 loan from JPMorgan Chase, both of which were creditors of the plant.

The owners of the company had blamed Bank of America for cutting off their credit line.

Collapse in housebuilding

Republic Windows and Doors was a victim of the collapse in house building in the US.

It said it had given its bankers a plan for an orderly wind-down that would have led to an end of production in January 2009.

But it said that the bank had rejected permission to give holiday pay to its employees.

It told workers last week that Bank of America had shut off its line of credit and had refused to allow further expenditures.

But Bank of America blamed with the company, expressing concern at "Republic's failure to pay their employees the claims to which they are legally entitled".

It also said that Republic had lost $10m over the past two years and that it had lent the company the maximum amount it could.

In July, JPMorgan wrote off a $7m investment in Republic as well as a $5m loan, which had made it a 40% shareholder, and resigned its seat on the board.



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SEE ALSO
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