Fruit of the Loom, a clothing manufacturing company with its headquarters in the US state of Kentucky, is shifting its operations to Honduras.
The company will close its current manufacturing at its Jamestown plant in stages from June 8, 2014 onwards and all operations are expected to be shut by the end of the year, resulting in a layoff of around 600 workers currently employed at the plant.
All affected employees would be given a 60-day notice, as required under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), the company said.
The decision to move manufacturing operations to Honduras is part of the company’s efforts to align global supply chain that will enable it to meet customer requirements more timely and cost effectively, according to the company.
Fruit of the Loom, is currently a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and the Jamestown plant is the last plant of the company in Kentucky.
Tony Pelaski, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fruit of the Loom attributed the decision to competitive global business environment, and added that the move in no way reflects on the dedication and efforts of those who are employed at the Jamestown plant.
Established in 1851, Fruit of the Loom opened its first Kentucky facility in 1932 with about 100 employees, followed by two more units in 1941 and 1947. The Jamestown plant was opened in 1981 and at peak it employed over 3,200 people in 1990.
Besides the manufacturing unit, the company also has a large distribution facility in Bowling Green. However, it is not yet known whether the distribution would also be shifted along with the production.