Flint River Textile plant closes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flint River Textile plant closes

March 5, 2004

Albany -- For the first time since 1916, the weaving looms at the old plant on Eleventh Avenue in Albany are quiet. Friday was the final day of operation for Flint River Textiles. Their 230 employees are now officially out of work.

The Flint River Textiles plant was built in 1909. Recently they have made fabric for furniture upholstery. But the company reports they have been losing money the last three years because of foreign competition. Cheap Asian textiles are blamed as Flint River's sales declined forty percent since 2000.

 Tom Bass said as he left  that he is proud of the plant and the people who worked there. Bass said "you look at this empty parking lot out here and this is the future of things for American industry. Our politicians basically have removed quotas and tariffs on imports, all of our jobs are going overseas."

Homer Casey took his first job at the Flint River plant when he was 18 years old. He started working the machines, and now, 52 years later, he is a security guard. Until today. He admits it is sad seeing the plant shut down. Casey said "Just a sad day for Flint River. A sad day for a bunch of us, a long day."

 Flint River Textiles informed their employees January 5th of their plans to close, and the employees are being offered training for new jobs through the Labor Department. For long-time employees like Bass, it is frightening being out of work. "It is home. I don't know what I'm going to do each morning when I get up. I don't have any place to go."

Flint River Textiles had a yearly payroll of six million dollars, and will be a tough economic blow to the community. But for Homer Casey and many other employees, it is the end of the only company they have ever worked for.

 Bids have been taken on the machinery and equipment in the plant, and the building. But no final decision on their sale has been made yet.

posted at 4:40 PM by jimw@walb.com