US: Hartmarx workers rally to prevent job losses
Worried workers at bankrupt US men's suit maker Hartmarx will this morning rally against possible closures and job losses.
Around 500 workers will take part in the protest against chief lender Wells Fargo, which they fear is pushing for a bankruptcy closure of the facility instead of seeking a buyer who will reinvest in the firm.
The rally is being organised by the union Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which reports to be receiving growing support from state and national leaders.
Anger is mounting after Wells Fargo received a US$25bn taxpayer bailout at the end of last year through the US Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
And as Congressman Phil Hare points out: "The workers Wells Fargo may throw out on the street have been subsidising its operations during these tough economic times."
Illinois Treasurer Giannoulias has also threatened that the state will not be doing business with Wells Fargo "unless [Hartmarx] remains open."
Hartmarx filed for bankruptcy protection in January after US banks curtailed its lines of credit.
The Chicago-based company, which is famed for dressing President Obama, employs 3,500 people in the US, with about 1,000 of its employees located in Rock Island and suburban Des Plaines.
The Union action mirrors the struggle of 250 Republic Windows and Doors workers who succeeded at saving their jobs last December.
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