Major League Players Union joins calls to maintain New Era Derby Factory – The Buffalo News


The union representing Major League Baseball players urges the company that manufactures the caps worn by its members to review its plan to close its Derby plant next month.

The closure of the New Era Cap Co. factory in Derby would put more than 200 workers to a halt, the company transferring the production of the Major League Baseball players' hats to Florida and the production of 39. other manufacturers to third-party manufacturers in certain locations. like China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Haiti, where wages are well below those of Derby.

The Major League Players Association issued a statement Thursday in which it urged New Era to keep the Derby plant open.

"The players have always been very proud to wear the highest quality hats made by the unions and produced by New Era workers in Derby," the union said. "The MLBPA is asking New Era to reconsider its decision, which will result in economic harm not only to the dedicated workers who make the corks and their families, but also to the city of Derby, which has been supporting the company for nearly 60 years. "

The union's statement comes three days after Sean Doolittle, the Washington Nationals' relief thrower, tweeted his support for the Derby workers. Doolittle's tweets prompted national media, including and Yahoo Sports, to write about the imminent shutdown of the Derby plant and sparked a supportive tweet from Houston's Astros launcher, Collin. McHugh.

The players' union statement caught the attention of Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz, who tweeted "New Era wins $ at its Derby facility, so thank you very much". to have resisted this effort to dismantle the union ".

New Era, a Koch-based company in Buffalo, announced the closure of the Derby plant in November. He signed a separation agreement last week with the Communications Workers of America union, the union that represents most of the company's workers in Derby.

"New Era is one of the last companies in its sector to own and operate manufacturing plants," said the company in a statement released Thursday. "New Era's decision to shut down the Derby plant is not aimed at seeking lower," non-union "wages, as was wrongly reported in the media.This decision reflects a fundamental change in the model. commercial business. "

Unionized workers – with an average term of 19 years – will receive one week's pay for each year of service, up to 26 weeks. New Era will also continue to contribute to employee health insurance premiums for five months after the closure of the plant.

New Era manufactures approximately 65 million baseball caps a year. The Derby plant produces up to 4.5 million per year. The rest is manufactured abroad by third party manufacturers.

The agreement between New Era and Major League Baseball to provide all the hairstyles that the players wear on the field during the matches requires that these hats be made in the United States; the production of these caps is transferred to a factory in Miami.

New Era President Chris Koch said that at the time of the closure of the plant, New Era had "an obligation to its employees, partners and customers to ensure the long-term success of this company, and we must follow the evolution of our sector. "


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