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Buffalo Unions Protest New Era Plant Closing

February 2, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Oorchard Park, N.Y.—Union members from around Western New York rallied outside the Buffalo Bills’ football stadium Jan. 26 to protest the New Era baseball cap-maker’s closure of its factory in Derby. The company announced in November that it planned to shut the Derby plant, about 17 miles southwest of Buffalo, in March, as part of a broader move toward subcontracting out manufacturing work instead of owning and operating its own plants. The closure would eliminate 219 jobs for Communications Workers of America members. “What we’re hoping to do today is start a little bit of a movement to speak up for the workers at New Era, and give them some voice to say the hometown team should stay home,” Western New York Area Labor Federation executive vice president Joe Cantafio told the crowd, which included members of the Lake Shore Central Teachers Association, Rep. Brian Higgins, and Assemblymember Sean Ryan.  New Era said it is “moving forward” with the closure, and is negotiating severance pay and transition assistance for laid-off workers with the CWA. It added that it has collaborated with the state Department of Labor to help them with “job-finding skills.” Read more

February 2, 2019

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