Workers Rally to Fight Potential Fingerhut Closing

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About 300 people demonstrated at Federated Department Stores Inc.'s Cincinnati headquarters Friday to protest the possible closing of Fingerhut, The Associated Press reported.


The Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees of St. Cloud, MN, led the demonstration. Union president Bruce Raynor said Fingerhut was profitable before Federated purchased the company for $1.7 billion in 1999.


"We want them to do the right thing," Raynor said. "We want Federated to leave Fingerhut the way they found it -- as a viable company."


Fingerhut workers from Minnesota and Tennessee, as well as local union members, reportedly shouted "No justice, no peace." Some held signs stating: "Federated sell Fingerhut not liquidate."


Federated said in January that it would close Fingerhut if a buyer did not materialize.


The AP reported that Federated said in a statement Friday that it is continuing negotiations to sell Fingerhut to Business Development Group Acquisitions, Wayzata, MN. It also said it is willing to sell the company in parts.


"Union members have actively interfered in that process and attempted to discourage such potential buyers from further talks with Federated," the statement reportedly said.


Fingerhut, Minnetonka, MN, had 6,000 employees, including 4,700 in Minnesota and 1,300 in Tennessee. The union represents 1,500 Fingerhut workers.


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