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Hanesbrands to shut down five N.C. facilities, lay off 1,400 workers

Posted September 24, 2008

— Hanesbrands will close two plants in Eden and a warehouse in Rockingham as part of layoffs involving 8,100 workers.

The Winston-Salem based firm (NYSE: HBI) also is closing plants in Gastonia and Forest City.

The cuts will affect more than 800 North Carolina workers by the end of this year and another 600 in 2009.

More than 50,000 people currently work for Hanesbrands, which makes Hanes and Champion apparel. Most of the layoffs and plant closings are overseas. They affect seven plants in the U.S. and Central America.

Cutbacks in the textile industry have hammered North Carolina over the past decade. According to the National Textile Association, some 1,000 workers were laid off in 2007, some 2,000 in 2006 and more than 1,500 in 2005.

The closing of a massive Pillowtex plant in Kannapolis triggered the loss of more than 4,000 jobs – the largest one-time layoff in the state’s history.

According to a Duke University study, the state’s textile industry lost 170,000 textile and apparel jobs between 1997 and 2002.

“We are making significant progress in expanding our supply chain production capability in Asia and consolidating into fewer, larger facilities located in lower-cost countries around the world,” Hanesbrands Chief Executive Officer Richard Noll said in a statement.

“Globalizing our supply chain, and eventually balancing production between Asia and the Western Hemisphere, is a critical plank in our strategic efforts to reduce costs, improve product flow and increase our competitiveness.”

Hanes said the layoffs and closings will cost the company $76 million.

The cutbacks in North Carolina immediately affect 470 workers in Forest City and 140 in Gastonia.

The Rockingham warehouse, where 15 people work, is to close by the end of November.

Production at a yarn plant in Eden, which employs 120 people, is to stop by the end of the year.

A knit-fabric textile plant in Eden, where 600 people work, will close by the end of next summer, the company added.

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  • Proud2BUS Citizen Sep 25, 2008

    You can check out http://www.americansworking.com/index.html
    for american made products.

    But beware every site that has Red, White and Blue that comes up under American made products doesn't mean it is made in America. It will take a bit of researching.

  • Proud2BUS Citizen Sep 25, 2008

    It is hard to find those USA Made Products in stores but Another way to buy them is through the internet - there are several sites that just sell USA made.

  • Kellion Sep 24, 2008

    I know it's not easy to find products made in the USA right now. I tried to find a garden sprayer at Lowe's that was at least not made in China, no such luck. So, I filed a complaint with Lowe's. I probably wasted my time, but my view is that this is what our country needs. I think we as consumers need to band together and demand "made in the USA" products and not buy foreign made items. I know it's not easy, nor cheap. I'm not a rich person, but I buy USA when ever possible.

  • Luv2Camp Sep 24, 2008

    Very sad. The good folks in Forest City and other NC towns are hurting very badly right now.

    Good luck in finding any textile or furniture product made in the US. I looked online for a US-made sofa earlier today. Other than Amish pine furniture, I could not find anything - anything at all.

    I would gladly pay much more for American-made products than foreign made products but, sometimes, that is not possible.

  • jbirdnc Sep 24, 2008

    I used to work at one of these Eden plants closing. Eden and Rockingham County has taken some serious hits over the past 20 years with plants closing. Great place to live, but Miller Brewery is the only thing with a heartbeat around there. Sad times.....

  • CuriousT Sep 24, 2008

    Proud2BUS Citizen/Kellion -

    Regarding buying US made products---where?

    I recently tried to buy kitchen dishtowels that were NOT Made in China because of the dye scare last year in many of their products. I spent 2 HOURS in 1 store (large specialty store) and the only thing I could locate that WASN'T made in China, was something made in Viet Nam. NO USA made dishtowels anywhere. I didn't immediately purchase those. I went to another store, and another store, and another store. Nothing made in the USA for a DISH TOWEL.

    I even went online and couldn't find anything. I am making the effort to keep the jobs HERE, but finding the things I need is getting harder.

  • GWALLY Sep 24, 2008

    mrtwin....Hanes said the layoffs and closings will cost the company $76 million.........so how does that work?

    Some more of that Wall Street accounting me tinks'!!!

  • Kellion Sep 24, 2008

    We need to start buying from companies that are using american workers. When these companies close shop to go overseas, we simply need to start purchasing from a competitor that produces here.
    baseballman
    September 24, 2008 1:44 p.m.
    Report abuse

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    If we all stop purchasing foreign made products and look for the MADE IN THE USA logo this will help in all aspects. It will also help employ American Workers and not other countries workers.

    To stop this down hill slope we are on we have to Unite as a Country for our Country and our People.
    Proud2BUS Citizen
    September 24, 2008 1:34 p.m. Report abuse

    Finally, some people that get it.

  • baseballman Sep 24, 2008

    We need to start buying from companies that are using american workers. When these companies close shop to go overseas, we simply need to start purchasing from a competitor that produces here.

  • Proud2BUS Citizen Sep 24, 2008

    If we all stop purchasing foreign made products and look for the MADE IN THE USA logo this will help in all aspects. It will also help employ American Workers and not other countries workers.

    To stop this down hill slope we are on we have to Unite as a Country for our Country and our People.

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