Sunday, February 14, 2010

Plant closure highlights challenges in preserving manufacturing jobs

Planned closure of Hugo Boss plant in Brooklyn, Ohio raises questions of fairness | Business -

"...Wanda Navarro's $13-an-hour job at the Hugo Boss plant in Brooklyn was the best she ever had. So when the owners talked about shuttering the factory, she had to do something.
The woman who describes herself as more of a wallflower became a leader in the union's effort to keep the suit-making plant from closing."

"Navarro marched in protest in front of the plant with fellow workers. With wind chills in single digits, she demonstrated at Beachwood Place, where Nordstrom sells high-end Hugo Boss suits. She and other union members even handed out leaflets at the Davis Cup tennis finals in Barcelona, which the German company co-sponsored."

"The drive by Workers United, which represents 311 of the roughly 375 employees at the plant, is both determined and doubtful. It seems unlikely that Hugo Boss will reverse its decision, but the effort itself draws attention to two longstanding employment issues:

Is it greed or responsible management when a company moves a profitable business abroad to make yet more money?
And should the United States try to preserve unskilled
manufacturing jobs, or do they have little place in a restructuring American economy?"

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