Following in the Chicago tradition of Republic Doors and Windows, 500 HartMarx workers (HartMarx makes Obama’s suits) will vote at 10 AM this morning whether or not to occupy the Des Plaines, Illinois plant.
Des Plaines is just down the road from my Park Ridge school.
HartMarx, owner of the men’s suit company, Hart Shaffner and Marx, filed for bankruptcy and is being pressured to liquidate company assets by Wells Fargo, a major receipient of federal stimulus money.
SEIU represents the HartMarx employees. 6,000 jobs would be lost if the company liquidates.
According to an SEIU release, Monday’s protest is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. at the factory, 1680 E. Touhy Ave. It will include a vote on whether to stage a sit-in at the factory if it appears the facility will close.
The company, which got its start as a men’s clothing store in Chicago in 1872, is one of the last U.S. suitmakers, and happens to have as a customer President Barack Obama. It generates about $500 million in annual sales and employs about 3,500 union workers across the nation, the union said.
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has threatened to pull the state’s business from Wells Fargo if the bank backs a bid that could lead to liquidating the company. Wells Fargo is the custodian for the $8 billion state portfolio and has been since 2005, said Scott Burnham, spokesman for the Illinois treasurer’s office.