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Garment factories continue to close down
Jan '08
Mirage Company Ltd and Commonwealth Garments Manufacturing Inc are shutting down on February 10, 2008. They are the 20th and 21st garment factory to close down in Saipan since January 2005.

Operating under one company, the two garments factories sent Labor Secretary a notice announcing the closure. They also informed the officials that the workers, were already given a notice in the month of December, in compliance with federal and commonwealth Laws.

The Department of Labor is now determining who among the garment workers want to stay so they can immediately process their transfer applications after receiving the notice. According to the officials, around 19 garment workers from Mirage and 11 workers of Commonwealth will be jobless as a result of the closing.

The company officials did not indicate the reasons for this action in its notice to Labor. However, it is assumed that the reasons for the move are the adverse impact resulting from the implementation of the federal Minimum Wage Act and strong competition from garment industries in other countries with lower labor costs.

Along with that the increased costs of conducting business in the CNMI and lack of orders are also affecting the businesses.

The other garment factories that shut down this year were Poongin Inc.'s, Winners, Sam Kwang and Neo Fashion. Those that closed last year were Concorde, Hansae, Jin Apparel, L&S Apparel, Michigan Garments, Top Fashion and Grace International.

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