CHICAGO (AP) -- A sit-in at a Chicago factory has stretched into a fifth day after talks between the workers' union, their former employer and the company's debtor failed to produce a way out of the impasse.
"We are still going to stay in this factory," union local President Armando Robles said after negotiations were suspended. "We don't want to move from here."
The workers' siege was the subject of a three-hour meeting Monday night that included representatives from Republic Windows and Doors, Bank of America, the employees' union, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
The sides agreed to reconvene on Tuesday at the bank's Chicago offices.
The Republic Windows and Doors factory closed abruptly last week after Bank of America canceled the company's financing. Since then, about 200 of the 240 laid-off workers have taken turns occupying the factory, declaring they will not leave until getting assurances they will receive severance and accrued vacation pay.
Ricardo Caceres, 39, of Chicago has worked for Republic for 15 years as a window assembler.
"I'm confused and angry and wondering what's going on," Caceres said Monday. "I don't have money right now, I don't have a job."
The workers show up in groups of 50 or 60 to occupy the plant around the clock in eight-hour shifts.
The protest -- along with vocal support from President-elect Barack Obama, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, civil rights activists and others -- has also created something else: A chance for unions that have been losing members and strength for years to show they still matter.
"I hope it's the beginning of a real fight-back movement," said Leah Fried, an organizer for the United Electrical Workers, which represents the Republic workers, who are mostly Hispanic.
The workers say the company violated the federal law because employees were not given 60 days' notice that they were losing their jobs.
The company did not return calls for comment but issued a timeline of its discussions with Bank of America through a public relations company.
Republic said it presented a plan for an "orderly wind down" to Bank of America in October, including its intention to end manufacturing in January 2009.
Republic said it requested permission Nov. 25 from Bank of America to issue vacation pay to its employees, but said the next day the bank "rejected" that request.
"The company wished to pay but was not allowed to make that payment according to the instructions of the bank," said Tom Figel of Lake Effect Communications.
In a prepared statement, Bank of America said it had "worked with the company and shared our concerns about the company's situation and its operations for the past several months." But the bank said it agreed that Republic should try to honor its obligation to employees.
Blagojevich on Monday ordered all state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America to pressure the bank into using federal bailout money it received to help the laid-off workers.
"We hope that this kind of leverage and pressure will encourage Bank of America to do the right thing for this business," Blagojevich said outside the plant. "Take some of that federal tax money that they've received and invest it by providing the necessary credit to this company so these workers can keep their jobs."
Associated Press writers Deanna Bellandi and Caryn Rousseau contributed to this report.