Burlington workers get trade benefits
From staff reports
Feb. 8, 2002
STONEWALL Employees who will lose their jobs when the Burlington Industries plant closes next month will be eligible for help from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance program will offer a variety of benefits and re-employment services to meet the need of each worker.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering said Thursday the assistance is needed. Pickering, the 3rd District Republican, toured the plant two weeks ago and met with some of the 820 workers who will be jobless.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance varies on a case-by-case basis.
Benefits include job placement assistance, career counseling and up to 104 weeks of job training. Others include up to a year of income support and reimbursement of job search and relocation expenses.
Burlington announced last month that it will sell or close its Stonewall plant March 31. The company is closing its denim division plants in the United States, blaming foreign competition and a weak economy.
The Stonewall plant has been in operation since the 1860s and is Clarke County's largest employer. Burlington, headquartered in North Carolina, has owned and operated the plant since 1962.
While the Stonewall plant was reported operating at a profit, Burlington Industries filed for bankruptcy in November 2001. When the plant was shut down for two weeks that month, Clarke County's unemployment rate soared to 15 percent.
Doug Carter, the Stonewall plant manager, said he was pleased with the federal help.