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Cheap Chinese imports force local garment cos to shut down

18
Aug '08
Everest Fashions Ltd, a Palmerston North based clothing manufacturer which once prided itself for surviving all the changes in the apparel industry, has now decided to pull down shutters. Employees of the company have been informed that the company would close on August 22, rendering 28 people jobless.

Owner of the company reasoned out saying that it was becoming increasingly difficult to compete with cheap imports from China. Besides, increase in holiday leave and minimum pay under the labor-led Government had mounted labor costs affecting both small and large scale clothing enterprises in uncountable ways.

Moreover it has also been informed by the National Distribution Workers union that LWR-owned Beardsley Pearce in Levin would also be closing soon, bringing the total job loss in clothing manufacturing in central North Island to 40.

As a matter of fact, these closures came following those of Godfrey Hirst owned Feltex plants in Foxton and Feilding which saw nearly 160 workers lose their jobs.

Additionally, Godfrey Hirst's Dannevirke mill had also recently laid off 12 workers while Rembrandt Suits in Naenae has laid off around 200 of its staff.

Garment producing companies realized that despite employing highly skilled workers, wages paid were much less than what they deserved. But even then, the gap in labor costs when compared to China was way too much which made Chinese garments more attractive and price-competitive than locally produced clothing.

Most of the apparel producers agreed to have faced a common problem and opined that slowing of economy had not done so much damage as compared to that done by cheap imports from China. If the situation is not brought under control, garment industry of the country is likely to collapse under the pressure emerging from competing countries.


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