Danny Glover, Hugo Boss Workers Save Ohio Plant

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — Union workers on Friday approved an eleventh-hour agreement to keep open a Hugo Boss men's suit plant in Ohio where the more than 300 workers drew the support of actor Danny Glover. Ratification of the deal was first announced by Gov. Ted Strickland and later confirmed by union officials, who did not immediately have details of the vote or the three-year deal.

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — Union workers on Friday approved an eleventh-hour agreement to keep open a Hugo Boss men's suit plant in Ohio where the more than 300 workers drew the support of actor Danny Glover.

Ratification of the deal was first announced by Gov. Ted Strickland and later confirmed by union officials, who did not immediately have details of the vote or the three-year deal.

Company and union leaders said they had agreed on the deal overnight.

In a joint statement, Hugo Boss and the unions Workers United and SEIU said the agreement is designed to help the company's competitiveness by increasing its flexibility and reducing costs. The statement said the planned April 27 closing of the factory would be canceled if union members ratified the pact.

"Against all odds, we have saved a critical U.S. apparel manufacturing facility," Workers United President Bruce Raynor said. "This is a tremendous result that we attribute to our Hugo Boss members who stood up for their jobs."

Actor and activist Glover, star of the "Lethal Weapon" movies, asked Hollywood not to wear Hugo Boss suits to this year's Oscars and gathered twice with the workers to show he was behind them. Glover did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hugo Boss AG, based in Metzingen, Germany, had said the plant in the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn was not globally competitive when it announced the closing plans in late December. In subsequent talks, union leaders said they sought to avoid big pay cuts. Most of the plant's 375 workers, including 300 union members, earned about $13 an hour.

During negotiations last year, the company told workers it wanted to lower wages to $8.30 hourly, according to the union. The company said concessions were rejected by the union.

 

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