NEW YORK — Yesterday, Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) finalized acquisition of the HMX Group, which includes the New York based Hickey Freeman and Illinois based Hart Schaffner Marx brands. Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx have long been manufactured in the United States by Workers United members and have become synonymous with producing high quality, hand-tailored menswear. Notably, President Obama wears suits manufactured by the union members.
The terms of the acquisition not only promise to save some 1100 U.S. jobs by maintaining operations of both brands at manufacturing plants in Rochester, NY and Des Plaines, IL, but also will ensure that the company is better capitalized and positioned to access global retail markets. The deal also will give workers 10 percent of company profits.
“By ensuring that these manufacturing jobs stay in the U.S., both our members and the communities where they live are winners,” said Workers United President Noel Beasley. “This acquisition deal is about more than saving jobs, it’s about Workers United members taking an active role to help rebuild the company’s future and the nation’s economy.”
Elected officials played a key role in the negotiations to ensure that U.S. jobs were protected during the acquisition process. “Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Louise Slaughter stood shoulder to shoulder with Workers United members to ensure that the acquisition deal will protect jobs,” said Rochester Regional Joint Board Manager Gary Bonadonna. “Our members have worked hard to produce quality menswear and they worked hard to save the Rochester plant. They will continue to work for a successful future for the brands."
“The Chicago area trade union movement, led by President Jorge Ramirez and Secretary-Treasurer Robert Reiter of the Chicago Federation of Labor, along with Representative Jan Schakowsky and Governor Pat Quinn and his administration, were stalwart in their support,” said Richard Monje, Workers United vice president and assistant manager of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board. “Losing these jobs in Des Plaines would have set back that community’s economic recovery. Instead, Workers United members will be able to prosper from the acquisition as the company repositions and becomes more profitable.”
The acquisition is subject to final approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York at a hearing scheduled for December 19.
Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, is a union representing more than 100,000 workers in the US and Canada who work in the laundry, food service, hospitality, gaming, apparel, textiles manufacturing and distribution industries.