Union Vows to Fight Closing of Brooklyn Hugo Boss Plant

Posted on December 30, 2009

German based Hugo Boss has announced that it is closing its Brooklyn plant, which will throw 300 workers out of work. The unions are planning on fighting the proposed closure. The company is closing the plant in order to outsource the jobs overseas where workers can be hired for around $1 an hour.
The union that represents workers at the Hugo Boss plant here will fight the company's decision -- announced Tuesday -- to close the plant. That's what Bruce Raynor, president of Workers United, Service Employees International Union, told the Sun Post Tuesday afternoon. Raynor said Hugo Boss -- a clothing manufacturer headquartered in Metzingen, Germany -- plans to send Brooklyn jobs overseas.

"This is a sweatshop company putting American workers on the street to exploit workers in poor countries and send the profits back to Germany," Raynor said. Raynor said overseas workers will earn less than $1 an hour working for Hugo Boss. He said the union will start a campaign to educate consumers on how the company operates. "The union intends to resist this (Brooklyn plant) closing with everything at our disposal," Raynor said.

*****

The company said it has been working with the state of Ohio and the city of Brooklyn in an effort to save the plant but a solution wasn't found. Hugo Boss said it also tried to negotiate a new contract with union workers at the plant. The company's goal was to make the plant competitive.
The current contract with the union expires in April, which is why May was picked as the plant's closing date. Hugo Boss has said it will provide outplacement training and severance packages to the 300 laid off workers.