2 London Fog plants close, 1 temporarily

October 21, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

The whir of sewing machines came to an end yesterday at two London Fog Corp. plants in Maryland as the company closed its Hancock operation and temporarily shuttered its Baltimore plant.

With 270 employees in Baltimore and 280 in Hancock a month ago, each plant was employing just 15 workers by yesterday, according to Edward Zitka, manager of domestic manufacturing for the Darien, Conn.-based company.

In Hancock, it was the end of the line for that plant, which first started making London Fog raincoats in 1962. The plant's 15 workers were let go yesterday.

But the Baltimore plant will be reopened about Jan. 31 after a $2 million retooling, which includes a computerized cutting system, Zitka said.

The Baltimore plant's smaller work force of 220 will also have the new mission of running a so-called quick response plant, aimed at providing coats more rapidly to keep retailers well stocked.

Including the Hancock plant, London Fog has closed five domestic plants in the past year, as it switched to foreign production in a bid to stay competitive.

A manufacturing facility in Williamsport, which employed 60 workers, was closed earlier this month.

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