USA: Denim Giant Cone Axes Two Plants, 625 US Jobs
The Greensboro-based company, the world's largest denim maker, will close its Cliffside Finishing and Haynes plants, both in North Carolina, as part of its reorganisation.
Cone cited the continued flood of cheap textile and clothing imports into the US for its decision and said it will also scale back denim production at its Cliffside Weave plant.
The firm filed for Chapter 11 last month as part of a deal with buyout firm WL Ross & Co which agreed to purchase its assets for $90 million.
Cone CEO John Bakane said in a statement: "The steps we have announced today are necessary in order for the company to remain competitive in an environment where unfair trade policies are decimating the US textile industry.
"Our current operating strategy of consolidation and rationalisation will help us meet the challenge posed by this unprecedented onslaught of cheap imports.
"These actions are being taken as part of a carefully developed plan to make Cone more efficient and cost competitive and will not affect the company's product development, quality, or customer service."
He continued: "The decision to reconfigure denim capacity in Rutherford County was very difficult because these plants have been a part of the Cone Mills' family for so many years.
"These employees have worked very hard to adapt to changing and competitive conditions. We regret the personal impact this will have on our employees and their families as well as the economic effect it will have on the Rutherford County community."
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