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FOTL's Jamestown, Ky., Operations To Move To Honduras

Branded apparel maker Fruit of the Loom Inc. (FOTL), Bowling Green, Ky., will close its Jamestown, Ky., manufacturing plant by December 2014 and move the operations to Honduras, eliminating 601 jobs in Kentucky. The company cited economic considerations as the basis for the decision.

FOTL has U.S. distribution and/or yarn spinning facilities in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana. FOTL, one of the largest private employers in Honduras, has endeavored to make its operations in that country a model of social and environmental responsibility. Initiatives include: establishing a collective bargaining agreement with its Honduran workers; recognizing unions at its facilities; offering health screenings in local communities; and reducing carbon emissions and providing ecological stoves in rural areas. The company received the 2013 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence  (ACE) in recognition of its role as a good corporate citizen within Honduras.

It also received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leadership Award for its commitment to reduce electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2015. Much of that reduction is related to electricity consumption in Honduras, which will be offset with renewable onsite biomass electricity and local hydroelectric power.

May/June 2014