ATMI aiming ...

Week of April 9, 2001

to put ‘unity’ in opportunity

By Devin Steele

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute recently gathered for their 52nd annual meeting here — Ground Zero, as far as their interests and future are concerned.

The nation’s capitol, of course, is the battlefield of many a legislative fight the group has fought in an attempt to ensure its longevity. And, no doubt, it’s the site of ensuing battles, as the direction of the industry still hangs in the balance.

“Our whole lives really depend day to day on what happens right here in Washington,” said Chuck Hayes, chairman of Guilford Mills, Greensboro, NC, who was elected ATMI president during the meeting. “And we have to become a much more important factor when it comes to working on the Hill.”

The chief objective of the association is to ensure that tariffs on imports stay in place, according to outgoing ATMI President Roger Chastain, president and COO of Mount Vernon Mills, Greenville, SC. “If we keep those, we can compete with anybody in the world.”

Incoming ATMI President Chuck Hayes addresses the group.

As conflicts await, ATMI leadership during the gathering sought to defuse public scrutiny of internal strife that has resulted from member dissension in recent months. They also charted the course of action the revamped association would take on forthcoming matters.

In doing so, they preached one motto: unity.

“I believe today that we’re far from being as unified as we should be,” Chastain said. “The consequences of this lack of unity is very disturbing to us. It can prove extremely damaging to our industry. Our future depends really on our willingness and our ability to work together.”

Membership also elected Van May, president and CEO of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA), Lubbock, TX, as first vice president; and Joseph L. “Joe” Gorga, CEO and president of CMI Industries, Inc., Greensboro, NC, as second vice president.

The association also presented the textile industry’s highest honor — the Samuel Slater Award — to longtime Senators Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and Jesse Helms (R-NC) for their work in Washington on behalf of the industry.

STN Headliners

Week of April 9, 2001

In this week's edition:

DuPont cuts total 5,300

WILMINGTON, DE — In response to weak U.S. apparel and textile markets, DuPont Co. announced Monday that it will cut 4,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of its work force. The company, which makes such products as nylon, polyester and the Lycra fabrics, said it would also lay off another 1,300 contract employees.

The world’s largest chemical maker said that roughly half of the job reductions will come in the company’s nylon and polyester fiber businesses. The company will reduce polyester and nylon manufacturing in Kinston and Cape Fear, NC; Camden, SC; and Seaford, DE.

About 75 percent of the affected employees and contractors are in the United States.

“Taking actions that result in people losing their jobs is the hardest decision we as leaders will ever have to make,” said DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr. “However, we are doing what is necessary to assure the competitiveness of our individual businesses and the performance of DuPont as a whole.”

DuPont said it will take a one-time charge in the second quarter of 40-45 cents. Savings are expected to total $400 million pre-tax, about a third of which should be seen this year and the balance next year, the firm added.

Zollinger opens S.A. office

SPARTANBURG, SC — Otto Zollinger, Inc. has opened an office in South America.

The office was opened to expand sales in Central and South America, to maintain fast customer service and to efficiently supply customers with the latest technologies, according to Otto Zollinger, president. The 31-year-old company manufactures yarn tension control devices.

Pablo Stierli has been elected president of sales for South and Central America. Stierli joins Otto Zollinger, Inc. with 30 years experience in the textile industry.

Burlington to shutter another plant

BURLINGTON, NC — The bleeding continues at Burlington Industries, which last week announced it is closing its Mount Olive, NC, plant and laying off 170 employees.

The plant produces draperies and other window treatments.

Wallace Horton, plant manager, told The Associated Press that the layoffs were the result of competition from imports and a depressed market.

The plant, which opened in 1968, employed more than 1,000 people in the 1970s.

Unifi’s Mebane enters full-time retirement

GREENSBORO, NC — G. Allen Mebane, who helped found textured yarn producer Unifi, Inc. in 1971, has retired as a company board member.

Mebane had resigned as Unifi’s chairman of the board in October and agreed to serve on the board through a transitional period.

In announcing his decision to enter full retirement, he said that he was pleased with the smooth transition in leadership at the company.