VF Jeanswear, the unit of apparel giant VF Corp. that makes Lee and Wrangler jeans, will close two plants and reduce the work force at two others as it moves more than 1,000 El Paso-area jobs to Mexico by the end of the year.
“In order to stay competitive with product costs, we have to take more production outside the United States,” Sam Tucker, vice president of human resources for VF Jeanswear in Greensboro, N.C., told the El Paso Times for a story Thursday.
In El Paso, VF will close a jeans factory, laying off 640 workers, and its jeans washing plant, laying off 56 workers. Its distribution center will remain open, but 250 workers will lose their jobs.
In nearby Fabens, 89 workers will lose their jobs at a jeans factory which will remain open — the last VF Jeanswear factory to operate in the United States, Tucker said.
When the layoffs are completed, VF, which employed more than 5,000 people in the El Paso area in 2001, will have a work force there of about 550 people. About 380 will remain at the Fabens factory and about 150 at the Rojas distribution center, Tucker said.