USA: Wrangler Maker VF Jeanswear Axes 1,800 US Jobs
29 Jul 2003
Clothing giant VF Jeanswear is to axe nearly 2,000 jobs at several plants across the US in a fresh blow to the country's struggling textile industry, it emerged Tuesday.
The unit of the world's largest apparel maker, VF Corp, will cut about 900 jobs in its home state of North Carolina as well as a similar number at two plants in Oklahoma which will mark its manufacturing exit from that state.
The company will axe 366 jobs at a jeans sewing plant in Windsor and a further 526 jobs at a factory in Wilson, both are based in North Carolina and have traditionally produced Wrangler jeans.
The job cuts in Oklahoma will see the firm lay-off 663 sewing and laundry workers in Seminole and close an Ada plant with a workforce of 246, by September 26.
But it will keep a distribution centre in Seminole which employs 332 people.
The company cited tough trading conditions for the staff cuts which represent around an eight per cent reduction in VF Jeanswear's total workforce.
VF also makes jeans in Mexico, Honduras and Coast Rica, with the axed US workers' duties now likely to be carried out by workers overseas, officials said.
Sam Tucker, corporate vice president of human resources, said the cuts would not hit the firm's Greensboro headquarters and added it will continue to employ 634 people in Wilson for cutting fabric.
"It basically all boiled down to we had more capacity than what we needed for production," he said. "We were forced to look at the facilities with the highest costs."
"The reality is it costs more to produce here (the US)," he said before pointing out that "we're not adding jobs in Mexico or Honduras".
Some of the jobs could be shifted to Turkey though as the firm was recently reported to be planning to invest $15 million in boosting capacity at its factory in the western city of Soke.
The plant is one of three operated in Europe by VF with its others in Poland and Malta.
Maybe two stories can help here. Like most people today, both my brother and I have had to change careers several times. We both grew up in Washington state and we took different paths to where we are today.
My younger brother had the wanderlust and after going to junior college he left home to travel the country. He was a truck driver for 8 years and when he got married he decided he better find a local job. He got his CPA at the age of 33 and has been working for an insurance company in Omaha, NE. for 6 years. (Much better pay and home in bed every night.)
Yes, I did work in the apple industry here. My uncle had an orchard and since he had no kids I was hoping to get a piece of the pie. But when I was 23, he died and the orchard/estate was auctioned off to pay the bills. I went to work for one of the packing/distribution wholesalers that sold the fruit to grocery chains. I had various jobs in this company and eventually traveled to represent this company and several others to Kroger and Walmart. It was good until they were sold and I was looking again.
At this point I just decided that the health care industry would be a good place to try with the aging population etc. I received a grant and a loan and went back to tech school to become a technician for MRI and CAT scan equipment. I got a job with the local MRI center at about the same wage I was making at my last job. I am also selling long term care insurance on the side. Between the two jobs I work about the same number of hours a week and I am making about 30% more than my last job three years ago. I don't expect the technician job will last forever, but I do think it will put me in touch with new opportunities.
The one thing I have learned through all this is you must be flexible. Step back and look to see what is happening around you and be prepared to change when the world changes around you.
The governments own figures show the national jobless rate at a 9 year high.
3.8 million plus, since �Baby Bush� took office.
Studies have shown that workers, who have lost their jobs to this form of globalization, typically suffer a 30 to 40 percent wage reduction upon re-entering the workforce.
So it�s not just can you find a job, but how much do you make? This size wage reduction will force these workers out of the consumer market for years to come. Corporations are not only eliminating their workers, but the consumers at the same time.
Globalization as intended would not just transfer jobs from this country, but would create new jobs and more importantly, new markets in the host countries. Globalization as practiced by greedy U.S. corporations today is nothing more than a profit improvement vehicle, simply taking advantage of rock bottom labor rates outside the U.S.
Globalization as it exists today means that every citizen of third world countries around the globe is likely to get their job at the expense of the American workforce.
As long as American jobs remain the chief export of the United States, there is no market growth; we are just creating an economic �dust bowl for ourselves here.
True globalization would raise the standard of living in third world countries, not lower it here at home.
To my way of thinking, jobs provided, payroll paid, plants built and maintained, are payment due by companies like VF, for the privilege of bringing their products to the U.S. market that made them what they are today.
You must be assuming the worker who looses his job just sits down and gives up on living?
Certainly I don't expect "Joe Worker" to turn around and have a high paid job the next day, but job statistics show that more Americans are working today than 4 years ago. With the job market transfers in many of the fabric markets over the last 50 years, employment numbers show these workers have picked themselves up and gotten new jobs. This has been going on for the last 100+ years as the inductrial revolution has matured. [Yes, I know that the unemployment rate is higher now than it was then but our population has grown.]
As far as your long term comments, if we don't globalize we can all forget our way of life. Without growing the consumer market base - capitalism cannot continue! This is the foundation of our lifestyle and country - like or not!
BTW-I lost my job at 44 and went back to school, so that I could re-enter the job market in a different profession.
This dicussion on globaliziation is like the following joke....depends on where your from and who your with..or for.
Two boys are playing football at this park in a small town in Texas, when a
crazed Rottweiler suddenly attacks one of the boys. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes a stick and shoves it under the dog's collar, twists it, and breaks the dog's neck, thus saving his friend.
A sports reporter who was strolling by sees the incident and rushes over to interview the boy. He tells the boy he's going to write the story and says,
"I'll title it 'Young Longhorn Fan Saves Friend From Vicious Animal'".
"But I'm not a Longhorn fan", the little hero replies.
"Sorry, since we're in Texas, I just assumed you were", says the reporter and he starts writing again. He asks, "How does 'Aggie Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Attack'
"I'm not an Aggie fan either," the boy says.
"Oh, I thought everyone in Texas was either for the Aggies or the Longhorns.
"What team do you root for?" the reporter asks.
"I'm just visiting my cousin, I'm an LSU fan", the boy replies. "They're just the best!" The reporter smiles, starts a new sheet in his notebook, and writes:
"Little Coon-Ass Bastard From Louisiana Kills Beloved Family Pet".