BROOKLYN, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Governor Ted Strickland joined Hugo Boss workers to celebrate the ‘first suit off the line’ at the Hugo Boss Plant in Brooklyn on Monday morning. Nearly 200 workers are back on the job at the only U.S. suit manufacturing facility of the German company. When Brown learned in Dec. 2009 that the plant may close, he contacted top executives at Hugo Boss and Permira Advisors and scheduled a hearing of the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy to examine the Hugo Boss situation and the role of private equity firms that acquire manufacturing facilities.
“We’re here today because all of us – management, workers, and public officials – came together to save a plant and a community,” Brown said. “Today should serve to remind us that manufacturing always was and will continue to be a ticket to the middle class. When we walk down to the end of the production line, we’ll enter a new chapter – for this company, for these workers, and for this community.”
“I’ve said many times that I believe in Ohio – and one of the reasons I do is that no matter what adversity we face, we never give up,” Strickland said. “And we never back down from the ideal that hard work should pay and that good work should be rewarded. That’s what’s happening right here today with Hugo Boss suits rolling out the doors again.”
Hugo Boss announced plans to close the Brooklyn plant in December 2009. Brown and Strickland worked closely with Workers United, Hugo Boss, and Permira Advisors urging company officials to keep the plant open. Brown contacted top executives at Hugo Boss and Permira Advisors in Dec. 2009, Jan. 2010, and Feb. 2010. In March, Brown announced that he would conduct a hearing of the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, which he chairs, to examine the Hugo Boss situation and the role of private equity firms that acquire manufacturing facilities. In April, Hugo Boss workers ratified an agreement that would keep the facility open.
Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown has held a series of hearings as Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy to examine ways to revitalize American manufacturing. These hearings include: (1) "Lessons from the New Deal", exploring how to apply New Deal era strategy to today's economy, (2) "Manufacturing and the Credit Crisis," evaluating challenges manufacturers face in the current recession; (3) "The U.S. as Global Competitor: What Are the Elements of a National Manufacturing Strategy", examining how best to establish a national manufacturing policy; (4) "Restoring Credit to Manufacturers," investigating the challenges U.S. manufacturers face in the current recession; 5) "Weathering the Storm: Creating Jobs in the Recession," outlining priorities to stimulate job growth and expand manufacturing; and 6) "Restoring Credit to Main Street: Proposals to Fix Small Business Borrowing and Lending Problems.”