Garment Factory Closes

December 26, 1990

WESTMINSTER - After changing hands several times and producing clothing for 44 years, Westminster Knit Corp. will close permanently on Feb. 12.

Eighty-four employees, who may be eligible for job retraining funds with the Trade Readjustment Act, will be laid off when the plant closes its doors.

To receive money through the act, the company's union -- the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union -- must prove to the U.S.

Department of Labor that the jobs were lost because of foreign competition.

The county Job Training Partnership Administration and the state unemployment office are scheduled to offer seminars on Jan. 10, said JTPA's bureau chief Diane Arbuthnot.

Originally the Westminster Coat Co. in 1946, it became Westminster Knit in 1964 when Jonathan Logan Inc. of New York bought the company. The current owner, United Merchants and Manufacturers Inc., bought Jonathan Logan in 1984, said plant manager Norton Geier.

The company, which has been hurt by foreign competition and the slowing economy, filed for bankruptcy Nov. 1 to reorganize and pay off debts, Geier said.

The Old Westminster Pike branch, which had been losing money for two or three years, was not needed in the reorganization.

When United Merchants closed the R & K Dress Co. late last year, Westminster Knit lost their main source of work, Geier said. Although they have had contracts since, none have been as steady as R & K, he said.

The company produces women's and girl's clothing sold in upscale stores such as Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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