Textile Plant Could Reopen Next Week
The now-still looms at Carthage Fabrics could roll again next week, sources close to the shuttered mill say.
Uncut grass grows high outside the plant, but inside Thursday, the lights and the Internet were back on, and some half dozen people were busily at work.
Details are expected to be released soon, according to one woman who was in the front office. She declined to give her name or the name of the company.
Springfield LLC, which has plants in South Carolina, is believed to be the company that has worked out a deal to run the plant, according to several former Carthage Fabrics workers. Several cars in the parking lot had South Carolina license plates on them.
Last week, former plant manager Nelson Patterson told The Pilot that the 65 employees of the plant were on permanent layoff.
Just a few years ago, the plant had 125 employees. It produced mostly upholstery fabric used by furniture manufacturers, another industry that has been hit hard.
Carthage Fabrics, founded in 1949, had held on in an increasingly dismal business climate for domestic textile companies. New equipment had been installed earlier this year to make the plant more efficient. One worker could produce as much as six using the newer equipment, Patterson said.
In May, paychecks bounced when a pay-on-delivery charge hit the bank at the same time as the company payroll. The plant laid off 15 workers at the time.
When Carthage Fabrics closed for the Fourth of July holiday, phones went dead and calls went unanswered at the New York office of its parent company, Chopak Mills.
Earlier this week, CEO Dan Selinka, reached by telephone in New York, said he still held out hope that that his company's only remaining plant would not be closed forever. He said he was trying to find a company to take over the plant.
Meanwhile, Moore County has taken liens on all company property until unpaid personal and real estate taxes are paid. (Due to an editing error, The Pilot reported incorrectly Wednesday that the taxes were delinquent. The taxes are not delinquent.)
The notice says property, machinery or equipment may not be removed without at least 48 hours' notice to the county tax office. The company owes $11,838 for personal property tax on such things as machinery and furnishings, and $9,919 real estate taxes.
The N.C. Employment Security Commission announc-ed this week that the workers who lost their jobs at Carthage Fabrics are eligible to receive special assistance in finding new jobs or paying for training programs, according to ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. He made the announcement after the commission received notification that the U.S. Dept. of Labor approved a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition filed by a company official.
The Federal Trade Act provides special benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers who are laid off or have hours reduced when their employer has been adversely affected by increased imports from other countries.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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