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Halifax Textile Company To Close Down, Reopen 4 Months Later With Smaller Workforce

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HALIFAX COUNTY, N.C. — A textile company in Halifax County is leaving more than 300 people in limbo.

Officials announced Westpoint Stephens will close its plant Dec. 31, but reopen four months later. The plant would be used to manufacture pillows and comforters, but officials claim the work would be done with a smaller workforce. Currently, there are 350 workers at the plant.

"We are going to work as hard as we can to try to find other companies to come in and replace those jobs," said Rocky Lane, of Halifax County Economic Development.

"Here you are at the end of the year and tax season and with Christmas coming up, folks just won't be spending much this Christmas, said David Edge, who has worked for Westpoint for 13 years.

Officials have not announced how many workers will be re-hired next spring. Some workers at the plant believe it will be less than half of the people who currently work there.

There have been more than 650 layoffs and closings in textile industry in North Carolina since 1987. The textile plant closings have put more than 79,000 people out of work in the past 15 years. The layoffs have sent almost 18,000 to the unemployment lines. Last year, there were 31 plant closings in the state.

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