Markey, Warren, Trahan Ask New Brooks Brothers Owner to ‘Save These Workers’ Livelihoods’

Mayor James J. Fiorentini; City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua and then-City Councilor X. Andy Vargas toured Haverhill’s Southwick manufacturing in November 2016. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill’s federal legislative delegation this week called on the new owners of Brooks Brothers to keep open the city’s Southwick manufacturing plant.

Sens. Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Lori Trahan sent a letter to Authentic Brands Group. They said, “we write to ask that you continue the tradition of American manufacturing by keeping the Southwick facility open.”

In the letter to Jamie Salter, CEO and chairman of New York City-based Authentic Brands Group, the legislators noted the 413 laid off workers are receiving no severance pay.

“As the expected new owner of Brooks Brothers, you have a significant opportunity to save these workers’ livelihoods,” they wrote.

Authentic Brands Group and shopping mall operator Simon Property Group bid $325 million to continue operating at least 125 Brooks Brothers retail locations and preserve the iconic Brooks Brothers brand. The sale did not include the Southwick plant in Haverhill. Boston-based Eastern Real Estate closed on the property and a deed was filed Tuesday. WHAV has requested clarification.

Pointing to Authentic Brands Group commitment to keep operating clothiers Hart Schaffner and Hickey Freeman after purchasing the companies in 2012, legislators said laid off workers “deserve to be included in your vision of maintaining jobs across the Brooks Brothers’ network.”

They added, ‘The Southwick facility has a long history of employing needle trade workers to contribute to the Brooks Brothers’ iconic brand. Those employees, dedicated members of UNITE HERE Local 187, are skilled garment workers who have made some of the finest clothing in the world.”

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