The clock is ticking for the more than 200 workers at New Era Cap Company’s facility in Derby. The company is expected to stop plant operations next month.
New Era CEO Chris Koch said in a statement that this very difficult for him, but that the company needs to keep pace with changes in the industry, which currently has most sports apparel made by third party manufacturers in places like China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Richard Lipsitz is the union leader for the Derby employees. The union is now calling on Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to pressure New Era to reverse its decision.
“They’re making money, why should they move? They can produce hats with the workforce that exists. We think that they should change their mind. Any role he (Manfred) can play in keeping that production alive out there is one we want him to play,” said Lipsitz.
Lipsitz says the MLB has a contract with New Era to produce baseball caps only in the United States. Because of that contract, caps for Major League Baseball will be manufactured in Miami.
“They’re going to get away with paying a lot less in wages in benefits than they pay in Derby and we just think this is a terrible thing to do to the people in Derby, to the workers in Derby,” said Lipsitz.
All other caps, currently made in Derby, will be outsourced to companies overseas.
The union already wrote a letter to Commissioner Manfred. They’re hoping his influence will protect 200 WNY families.
A rally to support New Era Workers will take place Tuesday in front of New Era Headquarters at 4:30 pm.