THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING HARTMARX...I visited the Hartmarx factory in Des Plaines yesterday to show my support for its workers and management. For those of you who may not know, Hartmarx is a longtime Illinois-based company that produces high quality clothing, including suits for President Obama. While Hartmarx is currently in bankruptcy, there are at least two prospective buyers willing to purchase it and protect the jobs of its 1,000 workers. Despite these offers, Wells Fargo, Hartmarx's lender, is leaning toward liquidating the company. We expect companies that get state and federal taxpayer money to invest it in American jobs and American workers, not destroy American companies that still have a chance to succeed. When the banking industry faltered, Wells Fargo received $25 billion in taxpayer money and may seek more. Additionally, it holds a contract for custodial services in relation to the Illinois State Portfolio. With that in mind, I sent a letter to Wells Fargo, strongly urging a reconsideration of the company's course in dealing with Hartmarx and asking for its help in saving these 1,000 jobs. Wells Fargo has a choice: they can save these 1,000 Illinois jobs or lose their business with the state. It's that simple.After all of the help that Wells Fargo received, it would be wrong for it to contribute to the further hardship of Illinois workers. Not one, but two responsible buyers see a bright future for Hartmarx. As I see it, the only problem here is Wells Fargo.
To view a copy of my letter to Wells Fargo click here.