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Under Threat Of Federal Action, Hugo Boss Reopens Contract Talks

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Officials at the Hugo Boss clothing factory and the union representing more than 300 workers there will return to the bargaining table – halting, at least for now, the company’s plan to close the factory at the end of April. Ideastream’s Bill Rice reports.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

The move to resume bargaining came at the urging of the National Labor relations Board, which says there is sufficient evidence the company did NOT bargain with workers in good faith. That’s what Workers United SEIU has charged earlier this year in a formal complaint.

Hugo Boss had sought wage concessions of nearly five dollars an hour, which it said was necessary to make the factory globally competitive. In December it abruptly broke off talks with the union, as well as Governor Strickland and other elected officials who were trying to find a way to convince Hugo Boss not to move the Brooklyn production line overseas.

In a press release, Workers United National President Bruce Raynor says closing the factory is wrong legally and morally, and that the union looks forward to negotiating a new contract.

Whether it’s just delaying the inevitable remains to be seen.

Andreas Stockert, the company’s chief operating officer, says Hugo Boss is sticking to its original wage offer unless the union proposes another solution that it finds workable.

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