Hugo Boss is leaving, but the jobs are staying

Hugo Boss is leaving, but the jobs are staying
Hugo Boss is leaving but the jobs are not. (Source: WOIO)
Hugo Boss is leaving but the jobs are not. (Source: WOIO)

BROOKLYN, OH (WOIO) - It is another last-second save for the

manufacturing plant in Brooklyn.

The plant that was scheduled to close in April has been purchased by the W. Diamond Group, a clothing manufacturer based in Chicago.

Overflow production of Hart Schaffner Marx suits in Chicago will be moved to the Brooklyn facility with the expectation that other brands will also be produced here.

"This is a good day, a real good day," said longtime employee Dorothy Miller.

During a news conference Friday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced the new agreement that will save nearly 170 jobs.

Following a December 2014 announcement that Hugo Boss will close the Brooklyn plant, Brown worked with the company, union, and other community and business leaders to keep jobs at the plant.

Keystone Tailored Manufacturing LLC reached a deal with Hugo Boss to purchase all assets and extend offers to current employees in the Brooklyn plant. Brown arranged the first meeting between executives at Keystone with Hugo Boss leadership, who worked together to reach the deal to keep the jobs local.

"It's not just about creating new jobs, which this plant is likely to do in the next year or so," Brown said. "It really is saving those jobs and giving people hope again."

"Cleveland has a proud history of making high-quality clothing and there's a reason companies want to invest in this city and this facility – our workers," Brown said. "This is a victory for Brooklyn, and for Ohio manufacturing – preserving good-paying jobs and boosting American-made apparel. I want to thank everyone at Hugo Boss, the W Diamond Group, and Workers United for working together to make this deal a reality. I am honored to have worked to save American jobs and look forward to supporting this great Ohio business."

"The Williams Family is very excited about the opportunity to continue the proud heritage of tailored clothing manufacturing in Brooklyn, Ohio," said Doug Williams, Chief Executive Officer, W Diamond Group Corporation. "Over the past three years, with our retail partner, Authentic Brands Group, Workers United and our amazing team, we've been able to save over 1,000 United States manufacturing jobs. We look forward to doing the same here in Brooklyn for the 169 American employees who put their hearts into every garment that is produced right here in Ohio. We look forward to becoming part of this great community and welcoming them into our family. We'd like to thank Senator Brown for his support in bringing Hugo Boss and the new Keystone Tailored Clothing Manufacturing Company together and thank Hugo Boss for their work in helping save these jobs."

"We are very pleased to have found with the W Diamond Group a buyer, whose intention is to retain our employees in Cleveland," said Markus Neubrand, Chief Operating Officer for the Americas with Hugo Boss. "We want to particularly thank Senator Sherrod Brown and Workers United for their constructive cooperation and unwavering support."

"Workers United, SEIU, has represented the workforce that now manufactures Hugo Boss apparel since the Joseph and Feiss Company was organized in Cleveland in the 1920's," said Noel Beasley, president of Workers United. "We are pleased that the letter of intent has been signed by the W Diamond Group and Hugo Boss. The Union is focused on saving the jobs of everyone employed and will work constructively with both companies to achieve a successful outcome. We especially appreciate the assistance of Senator Sherrod Brown in bringing the parties together."

W Diamond Group – the company that manufactures American-made Hart Schaffner Marx suits – is partnering with Keystone in a long-term supply agreement to produce men's suits, suitcoats, and trousers. Keystone's Brooklyn plant will be the second American manufacturing facility to produce Hart Schaffner Marx apparel, joining W Diamond Group's Illinois facility, which employs 600 full-time employees. Both the Illinois facility and the Brooklyn facility will be represented by Workers United, the union that represented the Hugo Boss employees.

Brown has been a strong supporter of the Brooklyn plant. Following a December 2014 announcement that the plant would close, Brown worked with the company, union, and other community and business leaders in their efforts to keep jobs at the plant.

In 2010, Brown worked closely with the union and the company to reach an agreement that would keep the plant open. In July of that year, Brown joined Hugo Boss workers to celebrate the 'first suit off the line' at the plant. In March 2012, Brown joined company workers to celebrate a new labor contract that kept jobs secure for an additional three years.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, issued the following statement after today's announcement:

"Today's news of the former Hugo Boss facility remaining open is excellent. Not too long ago, Hugo Boss was determined to close the facility. Now more than 150 skilled workers will continue their trade here in Brooklyn. I applaud Senator Brown, the City of Brooklyn, and all the public and private partners who have worked so hard to keep this facility open.

This announcement is a new beginning. Over the next few months, we are going to continue to support the company's efforts to increase production at the facility and add additional workers.

Through public-private collaborations, I am confident that this business will continue to thrive, contributing to the growth of our local economy."

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