Local news in Uvalde, Texas reports that the Dickies plant relocation to Mexico will impact both jobs and their regional economy. Are newly imposed tariffs having an inverse impact on offshoring?
Source: Spectrum News Austin – http://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2018/08/15/dickies-manufacturing-moving-texas-plant-to-mexico
UVALDE, Texas – A Texas clothing manufacturer is moving its plant to Mexico, costing the city of Uvalde more than 100 jobs.
The Williamson Dickie Manufacturing Co. has 19 different brands under their umbrella, including Dickies, Wrangler, North Face, Lee, and Kodiak.
Donald McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, said a total of 156 jobs will be lost in the city as the plant fuels the local economy. He is hoping to grab the attention of President Trump and the White House.
"You always hear about it, and you always say it's going to happen to somebody else until it happens to you," Uvalde said.
Uvalde is a town of about 17,000 people, and people can find stars and stripes on almost every corner, along with a company that's been there more than 60 years.
"I know that was the last plant Williamson Dickie had in the United States, and now it's going to Honduras and Mexico. It was a mainstay here forever. You went to the local stores and everybody sold Dickie shirts, Dickie pants - it's been here forever," McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin sent a letter to the White House and local elected officials. VF Corp., the same company that manufactures brands like The North Face, Vans, and Wrangler, recently bought out Dickies, which kick started the move to Mexico and Honduras.
The 156 workers represent a wide variety of the skilled labor force and will be laid off starting in October.
"Some of those people have been there 25, 35 years," McLaughlin said.
In a statement, Spectrum News was told the company is working to provide severance and job assistance. After October, the 137,000-square-foot building owned by the City will sit empty.
The mayor said last year Uvalde spent more than $480,000 in improvements, including a new roof.
"If you're looking to bring a plant or you want to do manufacturing, we have a wonderful plant that would be available in Uvalde, Texas, with a very skilled workforce that's here already," McLaughlin said.
The mayor said he has spoken with members of the chamber of commerce. From here the goal is to host a job fair within the next couple of weeks to help out some of these employees.