Mary White remembers all too well the morale took a hit when American Apparel lost a contract making coats for the U.S. Army.
"It hurt because this was their livelihoods," said White who is the plant manager at America Apparel.
Empty chairs at the sewing stations still tell the story today of the people who were let go. American Apparel was outbid by SNC, a company in Alaska. American Apparel appealed that ruling to the Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C.
Company leaders spent in excess of $100,000 in legal fees fighting the decision. In return the GAO awarded American Apparel a $28 million contract.
"We don't anticipate having enough work for those 125 people to return. That's the unfortunate part. The 275 we have here we feel comfortable we'll have working here through 2013 and 2014," said American Apparel Chief Operating Officer Chuck Lambert.
Not exactly a full victory but certainly much better than before.
"Part of the settlement agreement allows American Apparel to produce 50% of the first year's delivery here in Selma," said Lambert.
American Apparel is facing a similar situation at its plant in Opp. Just this week Lambert says he had to let go 220 employees over a contract cancellation but is also appealing that decision as well.
White is grateful to still have a job but also recognizes in today's economy the sharp sting of unemployment is always a possibility.
"We just take it one day at a time," White said.
One day at a time and choosing to look not too far down the road.
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