October 7th, 2009

A CEO Goes to Jail, Finally

No, it’s not one of the Wall Street gang. It’s Dick Gillman, the infamous CEO of the Republic Windows and Doors plant in Chicago. He’s in jail now on $10 million bail.

Gillman had closed the plant in Dec. 2008 without notice or the severance pay due to 240 union workers (represented by the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America – UE). The Dec 5-11 sit-in by the union inspired the nation partly because Bank of America (on the heels of the initial bank bailout) was tarnished as the greedy bank that kept a good-guy CEO from meeting payroll.

Diligent union sit-in members found Gillman to much less than honest. He was a crook who knew his factory would have to shut down but did not tell creditors or employees. He ordered the trucking of equipment from his Illinois union shop to his non-union Iowa factory. Union members trailed the trailers. (Saving the equipment enabled Serious Materials, a California firm, to buy the factory.)

That sit-in is memorialized in Michael Moore’s film Capitalism: A Love Story.  During the sit-in, Gillman could not access his office for documents. It was those documents that led to his being charged with defrauding creditors of over $10 million and using the money for paying off two luxury cars and not paying employees their $2 million. Gillman is charged with 8 counts of felony theft, fraud and money laundering through two shell corporations. His bail was set at $10 million.

Telling remarks from the union about the arrest, “Corruption and abuse of workers rights is rampant in corporate America.  Very often where you see violations of workers rights there are other corporate crimes and poor conditions as well … we all hope that this is the beginning of more bosses being held accountable for their crimes against workers.”

Let us hope that accountability can be restored for many more executives.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 at 10:21 am and is filed under Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Rulings by Courts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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