Local News

Wilson Layoffs Latest Blow To Local Economy, Textile Industry

Posted July 29, 2003

— There is more trouble for the state's manufacturing industry.

VF Jeanswear Limited Partnership announced Monday the closing of its facility in Windsor.

Reductions in force were announced at the facility in Wilson.

The total number of affected employees within the state will be approximately 892 -- 366 in Windsor, 526 in Wilson. Company officials hope to have the workforce reduced by Sept. 26. The company also announced closings and reductions in Oklahoma.

"This year has been a very challenging one for the apparel industry, as well as for our company. We continue to face a slowing economy and tough retail environment. In order to remain competitive and profitable, we found it necessary to make these extremely difficult decisions," said Sam Tucker, vice-president of human resources.

Officials say 624 jobs will remain intact in the Wilson plant. The company is considered the sixth-largest employer in Wilson.

"Anytime you lose 500 jobs, it's going to hurt your economy," said Bruce Beasely, president of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.

Beasely believes Wilson's diverse manufacturing sector will soften the blow.

"As the economy comes back, those jobs that were lost will be absorbed in other sectors of the economy," he said.

Tony Daniel, the owner of Carolina Cabinetry, says his company could actually benefit from the layoffs at VF.

"In the past 10 years, we have gotten really good employers from people who have lost other jobs," he said.

Severance packages will be made available to all affected employees. Officials say they will help workers in finding other employment opportunities with other companies.


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