In the spring of 2018, a flock of duck river textile workers in New Jersey had their livelihoods taken away by the textile industry’s new regulations.
The regulations require the textile sector to use less than 60% wool and more than 75% cotton per tonne, which are less expensive than wool and cotton.
The regulation, which went into effect in March, was a major setback for a small business in North Bergen, New Jersey, which had a surplus of duck-river wool and duck-colored cotton for about 20 years.
“It was not sustainable to continue producing duck-lined wool and the dyeing process,” said John Wiesman, co-owner of Wiesmans, a wholesale textile store in New Brunswick.
“You can’t sell anything in North Jersey.”
Wiesms owner had been able to keep his business going by selling duck-color cotton shirts, but his business was on the verge of collapse.
“We’ve had three customers, who have had to move on,” said Wiesma.
“I thought that we were going to die off.
We had to sell.”
With the wool and dyeing costs of 60% and 75% being so much higher, the Wool & Cotton Association of North Berge told Wiesmen that the business would have to cut back on the dye process.
“They have no idea what they are doing,” said Lidia Siegel, the association’s president.
“And we have to keep our customers happy.”
Wool &s; Cotton, Inc. (W&C), the largest textile producer in the country, responded by changing the regulation.
W&C says that it is in compliance with the new regulations, and that it will continue to dye duck river cotton shirts at its plants.
Wies and Siegel are calling on W&Cs to change the regulation, and for the company to make sure that all of the dye workers in the New Jersey textile industry are fully compensated for their work.
“The Wool &ing Co. should change its regulations to give workers a reasonable wage, overtime pay, health insurance, and a decent day’s rest,” said Siegel.
“Instead, W&Co is treating workers as disposable and making them pay for their overtime.”
W& C also has a strong record of working with other manufacturers in the textile manufacturing industry.
According to the New Brunswick Times, WCC was the only company in the state to hire a full-time worker to dye a single garment.
In fact, the company was so successful in this venture that it received an award from the New York State Fair Commission for its efforts.
“W& C has done a tremendous job of getting jobs for people who are unemployed and the textile trade in North America is a great example of this,” said Alan Smith, the president of the New Bergen Chamber of Commerce.
“But they need to pay workers fairly, especially the workers who are struggling to make ends meet.”
The New Brunswick-based WCC has a $10 million contract with the North Berglings company to dye cotton shirts for the entire textile industry.
“As a textile company, we take pride in the quality and the value of our work and we value the hard work that we do for our workers,” said Smith.
“That is the reason we want to ensure that the Wool and &” Cotton Association is working with WCC to make changes to the textile company’s regulations.
“If we can make it easier for our textile workers to get back to work, then we’ll make sure they’re compensated fairly and we’ll continue to be an employer that will support our workers.”
Wool and& Cottons is the only North Berganese-owned company that has a contract with W&;C to dye fiberglass for the textile and paper industry.
A company spokesman told the Bergen Times that W&CC’s new policies will allow them to continue to work with other companies in the industry and to make new partnerships with local retailers.
The New Berglins business has also been affected by the new rules.
According for the Newberry Press, the textile firm has been dealing with several challenges, including the loss of a supplier, increased competition, and new regulations that require the company’s employees to wear protective clothing.
WCC said in a statement that it understands the need for its workforce to wear safety clothing and has been working with a variety of organizations in the local textile industry to make the changes necessary to address the challenges we face.
The Wool &c&.; Cotton Association and WCC are calling for Wool &cotts to reconsider its decision and ensure that all textile workers are fully paid for their labor.
W &C has said that it intends to make its changes and to provide the Wool&”Cottons workers with the necessary benefits they deserve, including health insurance.
W C &.; Cottos statement