WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today released the following statement regarding the resumed negotiations between Hugo Boss and Workers United. The negotiations are scheduled to continue on Thursday, April 8, 2010.
"For more than a century and a half, Cleveland has had a proud and rich history of making high quality clothing. I am encouraged that Hugo Boss and Workers United are returning to the bargaining table tomorrow. I urge Hugo Boss to demonstrate that it is a good corporate citizen by bargaining in good faith with the union and working diligently to preserve the jobs in Brooklyn. If Hugo Boss remains committed to making clothing in America, it could enhance its sales in the United States by demonstrating that it is contributing to our nation's economic recovery, rather than sending hundreds of devoted American employees to the unemployment line."
Last week, Brown announced his intention to chair a hearing in the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy on the role of private equity firms, public pension investments, U.S. manufacturing capacity, and the circumstances surrounding Hugo Boss's decision to close its only U.S. manufacturing facility in Brooklyn. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) is a limited partner in Permira Advisors - the private equity firm that holds majority ownership of Hugo Boss. OPERS also wrote to Permira expressing serious concern about the plant closing. In the hearing, Brown will examine whether financial markets place too much emphasis on short-term results and explore the creation of public policies that reward long-term economic growth.
In December 2009, January 2010, and February 2010, Senator Brown contacted Hugo Boss and Permira Advisors, urging them to revisit their decision to close the Brooklyn facility. "The Cleveland area workers have been loyal and dedicated employees for many years, and I ask that you renew your commitment to a workforce that has worked so diligently for the success of your company," Brown wrote.