WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today welcomed a three-year agreement that will keep open the Hugo Boss plant in Brooklyn. More than 300 Ohioans are employed by Hugo Boss in Brooklyn. The site is home to the only U.S. manufacturing facility of the German company.
"For more than a century and a half, Cleveland has had a proud history of making high quality clothing," Brown said. "I applaud Hugo Boss's commitment to the community and its employees and their families who have sacrificed to keep this plant open. These workers have ensured, and will continue to ensure, the success of the company. I commend Workers United, the City of Brooklyn, Governor Strickland, and the State of Ohio for their tremendous efforts to keep the Brooklyn plant open. I am honored to have worked with them in their fight to save American jobs."
When Brown learned in Dec. 2009 that the plant may close, he contacted top executives at Hugo Boss and Permira Advisors in Dec. 2009, Jan. 2010, and Feb. 2010. Last month, Brown announced that he would conduct a hearing on April 29 of the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, which he chairs, on April 29 to examine the Hugo Boss situation and the role of private equity firms that acquire manufacturing facilities.
"Today we sent a message across the United States that people can join together in common purpose to accomplish the improbable," Governor Ted Strickland said. "The moment Hugo Boss announced they were shuttering the doors of its only North American facility and shipping our jobs overseas, we committed to doing everything we could to save as many Ohio jobs as possible. We used every tool at our disposal to convince Hugo Boss executives that leaving would not be in the best interests of their company. Senator Sherrod Brown, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Brooklyn Mayor Richard Balbier, Senator Dale Miller and Representative Tim DeGeeter stood with Ohio workers when they needed to know who's side we're on. But it was the determination of the workers that got this deal done."
Timeline of Events
-December 2009 - Hugo Boss announced plans to close its last remaining U.S. suit manufacturing facility.
-December 2009 - Sen. Brown spoke with Chief Operating Officer of Hugo Boss, urging him to keep Brooklyn facility open.
- January and February 2010 - Senator Brown wrote letters to Hugo Boss and Permira Advisors, urging them to revisit their decision to close the Brooklyn facility.
-March 31, 2010 - Brown announced that if the Hugo Boss closing is not resolved, he would chair a U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing on Private Equity and the Hugo Boss Plant Closing. In the hearing, Brown would examine the role that private equity firms play when they acquire U.S. manufacturing facilities and their effect on the community and on economic growth.
-April 14, 2010 - Brown announced that federal Trade Adjustment Assistance would be available some former employees of the Hugo Boss Plant.
-April 22, 2010 - U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy notices April 29 hearing on "Short-termism in Financial Markets." Witnesses include Governor Ted Strickland and managing director of Permira, the private equity investment fund that includes Hugo Boss.
-April 23, 2010 - Hugo Boss announces the plant will remain open for at least three years. Workers ratify the agreement.