Hanesbrands Closing Winston-Salem Plant; Moving Production Offshore; 610 To Lose Jobs

Apparel and hosiery manufacturer moving textile operations to its lower-cost plants in the Caribbean basin and Central America.

Hanesbrands Inc., an apparel and hosiery manufacturer, announced Thursday the closing of its textile manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the elimination of the plant's 610 jobs.

The production at the facility, which makes underwear fabric, will be relocated to existing lower-cost plants in the Caribbean basin and Central America.

Production at the Winston-Salem plant is expected to cease by the end of June, 2007; the plant's print fabric operation, which has fewer than 20 employees, is scheduled to discontinue production by the end of 2007.

According to Gerald Evans, Hanesbrands Inc. executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer, moving the textile production from the Winston-Salem plant to its lower-cost Caribbean and Central America regions will help the company to remain competitive and continue their long-term global supply chain strategy.

The company is offering severance benefits and career transition assistance to the affected employees and is applying to the federal government for U.S. Trade Adjustment Act assistance. Affected employees will also be allowed to seek open positions at the company's other manufacturing and distribution operations in the Winston-Salem area.

Hanesbrands plans to sell the 27-acre plant property after production ceases.

Hanesbrands, headquartered in Winston-Salem, has about 50,000 employees in 24 countries, including 4,000 employees in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, N.c.