CENTRE, Ala. (AP) -- American Apparel, which operates four factories with 1,100 employees in Alabama, is protesting its loss of a contract to produce U.S. military uniforms.

Company spokesman Chuck Lambert told The Post of Centre, Ala., ( that American Appeal learned last month that the contract was awarded to a competitor in Alaska. However, Lambert said, the company uses workers in Puerto Rico for most of the cutting and sewing work.

"After hearing about the decision, we filed a formal protest with the General Accounting Office," Lambert said in a story posted Monday. "They have 90 days to review our protest."

Company officials have also met with several members of the Alabama congressional delegation to stress the importance of the government supporting businesses like American Apparel that employ U.S. workers.

"We need someone to understand that there still needs to be large businesses in the supply chain," Lambert said. "Otherwise, we could lose 800 people because of the small business initiatives currently in place in Washington."

The Centre plant, which employs about 230 people, is home to American Apparel's central cutting operations, where material for all types of military uniforms, such as coats and pants, are shaped before being shipped to Alabama plants in Selma, Oneonta and Opp for assembly.

He said the loss of the contract could mean layoffs over several weeks as work winds down on the current contract, which ends in January.