01.29.09

SCHUMER FIGHTS FOR HICKEY-FREEMAN IN CALLS TO WELLS FARGO CHAIRMAN AND PARENT COMPANY OF ROCHESTER PLANT - PLEDGES TO FIGHT TO PRESERVE HUNDREDS OF LOCAL JOBS

In Conversations With Hartmarx CEO Homi Patel, Schumer Receives Assurances That With the Right Restructuring, Not A Single Job Would Have to Be ShedSchumer Pushes Wells Fargo To Make Sure Hickey Freeman Continues To Have the Resources Needed to Remain Open

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced his push to make sure that the HickeyFreeman Co. plant in Rochester remains open after its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday. Schumer said that while there are assurances from management that the plant will stay open and retain all employees during their financial reorganization, he wants to keep a vigilant eye on the process. Schumer immediately called Homi Patel, the CEO of Hartmarx - the parent company of Hickey Freeman to receive assurances that the local Rochester plant would remain open. Schumer has also spoken with Wells Fargo Chairman Dick Kovacevich to ask that the bank work with Hickey Freeman to help them through this difficult period. Wells Fargo is the principal lender of short and long term debt to the company.
 
Today, Schumer vowed to continue to work with Hartmarx CEO Homi Patel and Wells Fargo to ensure the local plant can remain open and hundreds of jobs remain intact.
 
"Hickey Freeman is more than just great clothes. It is a Rochester institution that has provided good paying jobs for more than 100 years. It is critical that we fight to save the company," Schumer said.  "I have spoken to the CEO of Hartmarx - the parent company of Hickey Freeman - Homi Patel and he believes that with the right restructuring not a single job would have to be shed. I have also spoken to the CEO of Wells Fargo and will work with the bank to make sure Hickey Freeman has the resources they need to get through this difficult stretch."
 
On Friday, the Hartmarx Corporation and its U.S. subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Officials announced on Sunday that its Rochesterbased HickeyFreeman Co. plant would remain open as the business looks to restructure.
 
Schumer, in an effort to save jobs and the plant, immediately contacted the Hartmarx Corporation and Wells Fargo to ensure the local HickeyFreeman plant has the cooperation and flexibility from the bank it needs in order to remain open. HickeyFreeman Co. plant is the only major clothing manufacturer in the Rochester region. The plant employs over 600 people but is currently strained due to the current economic downtown. Hartmarx, a Chicagobased company, produces clothing and apparel but has reported a decline in highend clothing sales due to the economic downturn.

Schumer said today that he would continue working with both Hickey Freeman and Wells Fargo in an effort to make sure the necessary resources are provided for them to remain open.  



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