Scene received the following statement from a Hugo Boss spokesperson:
“HUGO BOSS is a global company, focused on growing its business while ensuring it is best positioned to meet future needs.
Following a review of the company’s operations to ensure that its global manufacturing footprint is aligned with its global strategy, HUGO BOSS determined that it will not renew the contract for its Cleveland manufacturing facility and will phase out production there over the next few months.
HUGO BOSS is committed to working with the affected employees and their union representatives to assist them in transitioning to new employment. In addition, affected employees will be offered comprehensive severance packages and a range of outplacement opportunities.”
***original story: 5:40 p.m.***
According to internal announcements provided to staff yesterday, the Hugo Boss plant in Brooklyn will close in April 2015. Hugo Boss executives from New York and Germany are in town this week to discuss the details on the ground.
Calls placed to the corporate communications office have not yet been returned.
A three-year contract signed in April 2012 kept the plant alive and promised growth after Workers United waged a years-long struggle to keep operations running in Cleveland, where the company manufactured men's suits. Attempts to close the plant — including a three-month period where the plant did close in 2010 — garnered widespread backlash. Amid that controversy over the future of the Brooklyn plant, actor Danny Glover had called on Oscar nominees to boycott Hugo Boss.
This latest announcement, however, will cut those 300-plus jobs saved with that contract.
Just two years ago, Sen. Sherrod Brown was here in town to laud the union's manufacturing work at Hugo Boss. “We know how to make things in Ohio," Brown said. "Our state has always been known for its excellence in auto and aerospace manufacturing, but Hugo Boss and its employees are showing how Ohio can lead in textile and apparel manufacturing, too. Hugo Boss and Workers United have proven how management and employees can work together to increase productivity and create new jobs. Manufacturing is critical to Ohio's economy, and I look forward to seeing Hugo Boss’ continued success in the Cleveland area.”
As the current union contract comes to a close next spring, that success will cease.
More information is expected soon on this measure.
Staff writer Eric Sandy contributed to this report.