Brown Urges American Greetings to Renew Its Commitment to Ohio Workers

In Letter to American Greetings CEO, Brown Cites “Strength and Loyalty” of Ohio Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter this week to American Greetings CEO Zev Weiss urging him to consider the loyal workers that have contributed to the success of the company. American Greetings is in final considerations for a headquarters location—determining whether to remain in Ohio or move out-of-state.

In the letter, Brown cited the strength and loyalty of the workforce at American Greetings and the support of the Brooklyn community.

 “The Ohio workforce is second to none in productivity, efficiency, quality, and creativity.  Ohio workers have proven time and time again their commitment to making high quality products in a manner that achieves the highest levels of success for their employers.  Their work ethic has helped so many businesses like American Greetings steer through challenging economic times to achieve the American dream,” Brown wrote.

 In January 2010, American Greetings announced plans to consider moving its headquarters from Brooklyn to elsewhere in Ohio or out of state. As of November, the company had narrowed its search down to seven sites in Ohio and Illinois. The company employs approximately 2,000 at its Brooklyn headquarters. This past holiday season, Brown worked with the Brooklyn community to coordinate an oversized holiday card—urging the company to remain in the state—that was signed by local residents and delivered to American Greetings.

 Brown helped save another Brooklyn company—Hugo Boss—from closing its doors. After Hugo Boss announced plans in December 2009 to shutter their plant, Brown worked closely with the workers and community to urge the company officials to keep the plant open. In April, after months of ongoing efforts to save the plant, Hugo Boss workers ratified an agreement that would keep the facility open. Brown joined employees in July to mark the “first suit off the line” at Hugo Boss.

The full text of the letter is below:

 Zev Weiss

Chief Executive Officer

American Greetings

One American Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44144-23

Dear Mr. Weiss:

 For more than 100 years, American Greetings has led the world in helping people express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings in innovative ways that promote good-will and better friendships.  From its humble beginnings, the company has emerged as a global leader in electronic and paper greeting cards. 

 Much of American Greetings’ success can be attributed to the vision, creativity, and hard work of the company’s leadership.  At the same time we must remember the dedicated service of your employees.  Throughout the past century, American Greetings’ devoted and loyal workforce helped the dreams of a young Polish immigrant become a reality.  With this spirit in mind, I ask you to consider those who have contributed so much toward the success of one of Ohio’s largest and most valued employers.         

 The Ohio workforce is second to none in productivity, efficiency, quality, and creativity.  Ohio workers have proven time and time again their commitment to making high quality products in a manner that achieves the highest levels of success for their employers.  Their work ethic has helped so many businesses like American Greetings steer through challenging economic times to achieve the true American dream.  It is the same American dream that many of your employees share with you today.  It is in this manner that I ask American Greetings to renew its commitment to Ohio’s loyal workers.    

 It was uplifting to see the Brooklyn community bond together and deliver the holiday greeting card to the management of American Greetings.  The greeting card demonstrates the unwavering support that community members have for the company.  American Greetings has been a valuable employer in Northeast Ohio for many years.  It is my hope that the company continues to work with local and state officials in its efforts to grow and flourish.  

 Don’t hesitate to call on me if I can be of assistance.  I look forward to meeting with you soon.

 Sincerely,

 Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

 

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