Jun 29, 2007

Springs Global Not Much Left To Cut

From a Tribune-Times article penned By Business Editor, Woody White, Springs Global will close its two remaining plants in Fort Mill & Lancaster South Carolina. These final layoffs will put 750 out of work leaving U.S. employment at approximately 700 administrative and sales positions.

From the
Companies web site:

“Founded in Fort Mill, S.C., as a single mill in 1887, our company evolved into Springs Mills and later Springs Industries, the leading home furnishings supplier in North America…” “…Major home furnishings brands include Wamsutta®, Springmaid®, Artex®, Regal®, and Dundee®.”

“We employ about 20,000 people worldwide and have operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Springs Global is based in Brazil. North American headquarters are in Fort Mill, S.C.”

From The (Rock Hill) Herald by Charles D. Perry:

“At its zenith 20 years ago, the company was the state’s largest private employer, with 17,000 South Carolina workers. A total of 23,500 people worked for the company worldwide.”

Jun 28, 2007

Hanesbrands Offshoring Visited

As a followup to the previous article.

From the Wal Mart Watch web site, in February, the Workers’ Rights Consortium released a report documenting problems in the Dominican Republic at the TOS Dominicana textile factory. TOS Dominicana is owned and operated by Hanesbrands Inc. and employs nearly 1,100 workers.

According to the report:

The WRC found substantial, credible evidence that serious violations of domestic law and university codes of conduct have occurred at TOS Dominicana. These violations include the unlawful coercion of workers to sign new employment contracts and complaint waivers reducing workers’ employment rights and benefits, forced and unpaid overtime, failure to pay the legally mandated premium for work at night, verbal harassment and abuse, and the use of a range of illegal means to thwart workers’ efforts to exercise their associational rights.

This is where our jobs have gone.

Hanesbrands Continues Globalization

I recently watched a Fox News interview with two economists, names forgotten but they had very impressive titles, who expressed their opinion that the average American doesn’t get it. With “it” being that sending U.S. jobs overseas is ultimately good for the U.S.

Personally I feel that it’s the “experts” that don’t get it. We are losing millions of better paying jobs and replacing them with lower paying service positions. The experts point to the unemployment at 4.5% as proof positive that globalization is working. I have to wonder what the economic support for their grandkids jobs will be.

I wrote in:
Hanesbrands Closes Winston-Salem Plant Laying Off 610, that textile jobs have flowed out of the Carolinas for years. South Carolina had 122,000 textile jobs in 1994 and have lost 75% of those jobs to a current low of 31,000.

H. Martin Lancaster, President of the
Carolinas Textile Club is quoted in a 2000 statement:

“With 2 million jobs, textiles are the largest manufacturing sector in the U.S. and contributes more to the Gross Domestic Product than metals automobiles, paper or petroleum production. We are very proud that North Carolina, with almost 150,000 jobs, is the leading textile state in the nation.”

That was 2000. From Duke University in 2005:

“In 1995, there were 2,235 textile and apparel plants in North Carolina employing 252,704 people. By 2005, there had been a 37% decline in the number of plants, to 1,402 plants, and a 61% decrease in employment to 97,525 workers”

In 2006 North Carolina has lost an additional 20,000 textile jobs.

In a
statement from N.C. governor Mike Easley:

“A recent study by the American Textile Manufacturers Institute declared that unless action is taken, particularly against textile imports from China, the Chinese share of the U.S. textile and apparel market will rise to more than two-thirds within two years, from a 13 percent share in 2002 to a 71 percent share in 2006. That would result, by 2006, in a loss of 85,000 jobs in North Carolina.

“Total U.S. textile job losses could reach 630,000 from 2004 to 2006, the Institute study warned, with more than 1,300 American textile plants closing in the next three years.”

Hanesbrands Inc. Press Release:

Hanesbrands Inc. Advances Planned Consolidation and Globalization Strategy to Further Improve Cost Competitiveness

Jun 20, 2007

Patriot Express Ignored By MSM

Because of its far reaching implications to millions of Americans, this type of program should have received with a higher level of interest. Could it be that since this program is targeted towards the military that it has received minimal media attention? If this program were targeted towards minority funding, African-Americans or Woman, it would be a headline story with considerable commentary.

Last week the Small Business Administration announced a streamlined loan product, the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative that is based on the SBA Express Program, but with enhanced guarantee and interest rate characteristics.

Another loan program is hardly a devastating news event, but as written about in Bush Abandons Manufacturing, the President and Congress is currently in an anti-business mode. Funding for programs and agencies that aid small business has been cut drastically while taxes and regulatory burdens have increased.

The funding amounts in this program are minimal, not sufficient to allow for a quality Real Estate purchase, it is available to millions of veterans, reservists and their spouses.

I’ve written in Employers Snubbing Reservists & Renewed Call For Reservists Legislation about the dire need for legislative change in the laws regarding reservists. The current law punishes small business and puts a reservist’s application at the bottom of the stack instead of the top, where they belong.

Unfortunately even the SBA Press Release is politically motivated:

"SBA thanks the Presidential Task Force on Returning Global War onTerror Heroes for its guidance and hard work and Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson for his devoted leadership,"

Note the typo in their Press Release, they must have been in a hurry.

For information on the program, follow these links: Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative & SCORE Web Site