For immediate release
June 8, 2006
UNITE HERE to Protest at Hugo Boss Stores
Company Refuses Fair Contract Settlement for Warehouse Workers
New York, NY – Members of UNITE HERE, the apparel and textile workers union, will begin a campaign of protests today at Hugo Boss stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. UNITE HERE will educate Hugo Boss customers about the company’s unfair stance in contract negotiations with the workers at their distribution center in Savannah, Georgia
UNITE HERE represents 80 workers at the Savannah warehouse, mostly African-American women who earn an average wage of about $8.00 per hour. They are fighting for a decent wage increase and a pension, and are currently working without a contract. The company is offering only a $0.25 wage increase for the next year and refuses to provide a retirement plan of any kind.
Hugo Boss workers want a fair contract. “Hugo Boss has been very successful selling thousand dollar suits, and we just want a decent wage so we can take care of our families” said Lorenzo Walker, a package picker at the warehouse and the local union president.
“These are hard working employees that have contributed to the great success of the company and they deserve a fair wage and retirement. They’re worth more than a quarter.” said Harris Raynor, Vice President of UNITE HERE and the union’s Southern Regional Director.
Hugo Boss has had a very successful year. The company has reported record 2005 sales of over 1.3 billion Euros and net profits of over 100 million Euros. Its share price has risen more than 30% over the last year.
UNITE HERE is the union of apparel, textile, hospitality, gaming, and laundry workers and represents nearly half a million workers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.