New Era Cap looks to close Derby manufacturing facility

November 13, 2018 - 3:24 pm
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Derby, NY (WBEN) - New Era Cap is looking to move manufacturing out of Western New York.

The company, which is headquartered in Buffalo, said in a statement that they are looking to close their Derby, NY manufacturing plant by March of 2019 after a slow ramping-down of production.

New Era says their headquarters in Buffalo will not be impacted by the decision.

"This contemplated decision is part of the company's ongoing effort to more closely align its business model with its competitors in the global sports, lifestyle, and apparel industry by moving away from owning an operating manufacturing plants," the company said in a prepared statement. The company said they will not give interviews publicly before meeting with representatives from the union.

The company said they plan on meeting with the CWA Local 14177, the union that represents the Derby plant employees, in the coming weeks. Over 200 people work at the Derby plant, with 192 of them being union employees. Workers were made aware of the plans Tuesday morning.

"New Era is prepared to offer the affected employees benefits and severance at levels beyond what is required in the current agreement," the company said.

The Derby manufacturing facility produced just two percent of total New Era products.

The statement said that once the closure is complete, on-field Major League Baseball caps will be made at a facility in Florida, while the other production would be absorbed by facilities around the world. On field baseball caps are made in the US per an agreement with Major League Baseball.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a statement Tuesday afternoon:

“I was very disappointed today to learn of the impending closure of New Era’s Derby manufacturing facility, a move that hurts more than 200 families here in Erie County,” he says. "New Era is such a homegrown success story that its name now adorns the professional football stadium owned by the people of Erie County. As such, the announcement of the closure took my administration by surprise because no one from New Era contacted my administration or the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to notify us of this decision or to explore potential ways to keep New Era employees working in Derby. Nevertheless, I have reached out to New Era CEO Chris Koch directly to determine if any action can be taken to preserve these jobs. I hope there is still time to avoid this outcome and will work with New Era, should they choose to do so, to find a solution that is better for Erie County workers.”

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