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Hartmarx Victory No Longer Sweet for Rock Island Workers

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:50 PM
Original message /

Saturday August 22 9:25 am

Seaford Clothing workers celebrate the Hartmarx "victory" before learning weeks later their factory would indeed close. (Photo by Ed Tibbetts/ Quad-City Times)

In June, the 350 workers at the Seaford Clothing Company plant in Rock Island, Ill., celebrated along with several thousand other people nationwide employed by the upscale men's suitmaker Hartmarx Corporation, which provided President Obama's inaugural duds.

Hartmarx filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, and for months it looked like a new buyer would close the company's plants, which employ about 3,000 people nationally. But after a hard-fought campaign targeting major creditor Wells Fargo, including a threat by the company's Des Plaines, Ill., workers to occupy the plant, a buyer was found who would keep the factories open.

At least workers thought so.

As the sale was being finalized, Rock Island employees had been working reduced hours, and rarely working at all on Fridays. So they were confused to be asked to come in on Friday, August 7. Then they were all called to the cafeteria and told that, effective immediately, they no longer had jobs. No severance pay, no accrued vacation pay, no nothing.

Karen Kinney, president of Workers United union local 617 and an employee for 32 years, was shocked.

"We felt quite foolish," she said, noting that after the June victory, "It was such a big deal. We were celebrating, on all the news channels. And then with no notice they just said get your stuff and leave, you don't have jobs here anymore."

FULL story at link.

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Bluzmann57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hare has sworn to make life miserable for Wells Fargo
Hare used to work at that plant and Wells Fargo Bank is not at all popular in this area. They are not bankrolling any companies whose employees are losing jobs and sionce they recieved Govt. bailout money, people think maybe they (Wells Fargo) should help out working people rather than suits, which Hartmarx probably made. I support Hare 100 pct.
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