London Fog shifting work to Eldersburg

October 18, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Following through on a pledge to beef up its Carroll County operations, London Fog Corp. said yesterday that it would bring more work to the company's Eldersburg distribution and administrative center after it closes a 30-person operation in Washington, Ga.

"It's a sign of our commitment," said Edward Frey, executive vice president of operations for the Darien, Conn.-based maker of rainwear and outerwear. "This is step one."

The closing of the Georgia operation is part of London Fog's consolidation of distribution centers, which are in four cities -- Eldersburg, Spokane, Wash., and Savannah and Washington, Ga.

The closing of the 80,000-square-foot center in Washington, Ga., which is due to be completed by the end of February, is expected to provide more work for employees at Eldersburg and could eventually add 10 workers, he said.

"We're not going to rush out and hire a bunch more people," Mr. Frey said. "What we want to do is make sure that we've got the people that we have there now working more hours."

More work and more employees would be shifted to the Carroll County facility after the second phase of the company's consolidation, which is set to be announced by the end of the year, Mr. Frey said. He would not discuss what the second part of the plan would consist of.

The moving of work to the Eldersburg complex, which comprises 700,000 square feet, came in the aftermath of a vote by members of the Amalgamated Textile and Clothing Workers union on Sept. 26 to accept a contract that resulted in the closing of two factories in Hancock and Williamsport, while keeping the Baltimore plant open.

"It is part of a larger mosaic," said Mark L. Wasserman, secretary of the Department of Economic and Employment Development. "It constitutes good faith on the part of London Fog to stabilize and grow Eldersburg."

It also was good news to the union, which accepted wage cuts and saw more than 340 workers lose their jobs with the closing of the two plants.

"I hate to see another place shut down because it means people have lost their jobs down there," said Carmen S. Papale, regional manager of the ACTWU. "But on the other hand, I live here in Maryland and I feel it is an encouraging sign for workers up here," he said.

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