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Thursday, June 04, 2009


Chicago Jobs Saved?

Thousands of Chicago jobs may have recently been saved.

Workers from HartMax recently won a court battle that will keep the suit maker in operation and save more than 3,000 union jobs. A federal bankruptcy judge approved a bid for Emerisque, a private equity firm based in Britain, to buy the company.

Wells Fargo Bank, which serves as the chief creditor of HartMax, wanted the court to approve a different company that would eventually liquidate HartMax, according to an article by People's Weekly World.

“We are quite pleased with the progress and are optimistic," Joe Costigan, treasurer for Workers United Midwest, said in the article.

Workers United represents employees at HartMax's production facilities in Des Plaines and Rock Island, Ill. and Rochester, N.Y. Workers have taken various measures to help save jobs as of late, including voting to sit-in at the production facilities to prevent its closing.

However, while the union has won the fight for now, the judge involved set a deadline of June 22 for additional bidders to come forward, followed by an auction on June 24 and a sale on June 25. That means it's still possible that a new bidder could emerge with an offer better than that of Emerisque.

“We like where we stand," Costigan added. “We are going to remain vigilant. We are not out of the woods by any circumstances.”



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