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New Era Cap to retain Derby as sole manufacturing facility
Jan '10
The New Era Cap Company announced a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to retain New Era's Derby, NY plant as the company's sole U.S. manufacturing facility. A final agreement is contingent on the Derby employees' ratification of a new contract, which represents operational efficiencies and cost savings. If the agreement is ratified, New Era said it will close its plant in Demopolis, Alabama sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Today's announcement follows New Era's decision last November to consolidate its domestic manufacturing operations in the wake of significantly reduced consumer demand for its U.S.-made products. The company has previously announced the closure of its Jackson, Alabama plant.

"This was an incredibly difficult decision to make," said Christopher Koch, CEO of New Era. "Both our Demopolis and Derby plants are highly efficient and have made enormous contributions to New Era's success over the years. In the end, our decision to keep Derby open was based largely on the need to retain our most senior and experienced unionized employees."

The company also said that selecting Derby would result in less disruption to cap production operations than the Demopolis plant which would require significant renovation if it was to serve as the company's sole U.S. production facility. Employees at both plants are represented by the CWA. The tentative agreement came after weeks of discussions between the CWA and New Era, the company said. New Era also held meetings with local and state economic development officials in Alabama and New York.

"Both Alabama and New York offered generous economic incentives for each plant location and we factored these into our final decision," said Koch. "We sincerely appreciate their efforts." The Derby ratification vote is scheduled for February 2nd. There are currently 351 employees in the Demopolis facility and 330 employees in the Derby facility.

New Era Cap Company

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